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Us 45, America 30, United States 24, Washington 23, Sally 14, Obama 13, North Korea 9, Ken Salazar 9, Georgetown 9, The Postal 8, California 8, Leon Panetta 7, Pentagon 7, Ken 7, Salazar 6, Panetta 5, Eugenics 5, Afghanistan 5, C-span 5, China 5,
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  CSPAN    Capitol Hill Hearings    News/Business.  

    February 6, 2013
    8:00 - 1:00am EST  

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44 administrations. it begins february 18 at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c- span, c-span radio, and c- span.org. >> of the postmaster general announces the end of saturday mail delivery. then president obama and his choice to replace the interior secretary can salazar. and then leon panetta talks to -- and the armed services committees of her proposals to avoid the budget cuts. the postmaster general announced that the post office will end saturday mail delivery service starting in early august. they expect the change to save $2 billion a year. package delivery service will continue six days a week.
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this news conference is 35 minutes. >> good morning everybody. thank you for joining us. today, we're going to be making an announcement about an important change to our national delivery schedule. i think anyone who has followed the postal service over the past couple of years know that we have been consistently making changes to our delivery schedule. it is an important part of our strategy returning back to financial stability and it is absolutely necessary to make that move. before i get into the details of the announcement, i would like to spend a couple of minutes discussing the financial reasons for this scheduled delivery change.
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since 2008, we have seen a steady decline in the use of first class mail. it is our most profitable product and generates the most revenue. people pay their bills online, simple, easy and free. on the other hand, people do -- still like to receive hard copy statements and bills and the fact that businesses continue to send mail to the homes and that's been pretty stable over the past few years, show people do value the mail that they receive. however, they do like to make their payments online and put a tremendous financial pressure on the postal service. the biggest issue we face is whether we can adapt to these pressures in the marketplace. the laws do not provide a lot of flexibility to adapt. and this results in a major imbalance between costs and revenue. this past year, the postal service posted a financial loss of $15.9 billion.
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by any measure that is unsustainable and it's unacceptable. of the $15.9 billion loss, $11.1 billion was due to the amount we are obligated to pay the treasure to fund retiree health benefits. we had to default on those payments because we did not have the funds. and you know the postal service is expected to operate like a business. we generate all of our revenue from the sale of postage. we take no tax dollars. we don't have the ability to reduce costs in a way a private business would. and we are at the end of our borrowing authority. to give some perspective of our liquid situation, a typical large organization would either have cash on hand or quick borrowing ability. in october, the postal service had less than four days of cash
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on hand. that's a very scary situation and no situation that a business should be in. and this is why we have taken aggressive steps to reduce our costs and why we have been so vocal about seeking postal reform legislation. we faced a major hurdle to return to profitability and long-term stability. we need to generate $20 billion in cost reductions and revenue increases to close the budget gap and be able to repay our debt, both close the gap and repay the debt. and this is why the board of governors has directed us to take every necessary step to reduce costs and conserve cash necessary to continue our operations. it's what we have been doing consistently over the last couple of years. and we will be accelerating those efforts moving forward. since 2006, we made tremendous strides in cost reductions. we have reduced the size of our work force by 193,000 people. we have done it in a very
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orderly process through attrition, not through layoffs. and we reduced our annual cost basis by $15 billion. and how did we do that? we consolidated over 200 mail processing facilities, eliminated 21,000 delivery routes, substantially reduced administrative costs and right now we are reducing hours in over 9,000 post offices across the country. i cannot think of another organization either public or private that can claim that comparable level of cost reduction. we have accomplished these cost reductions while continuing to achieve very high levels of service performance and yet with even these significant cost reductions, we still have a large budget gap to fill. and so today, we are announcing that we are moving forward with a change to our national
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delivery schedule. the new delivery schedule will result in about a $2 billion annual cost reduction and it's an important part of our return to profitability and financial stability. beginning the week of august 5, this year, the postal service delivery schedule will consist of six days of package delivery and five days of mail delivery. this is a new approach for the postal service. over the past few years, we proposed moving to a five-day schedule for both mail and packages but our new approach is based on a great deal of customer input we have heard over the course of six, seven months. and strong demand for package delivery and enables the postal service to achieve significant cost reductions. what we are announcing today is not complicated. package delivery will continue monday through saturday and no changes in terms of post office hours. we will be open saturday. we will continue to deliver mail to post office boxes on saturday, which is very important for a number of
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businesses. mail delivery will occur monday through friday and we will not deliver nor collect mail on saturday. our decision to maintain saturday package service is driven by a number of factors. we have taken a hard look at the future of package delivery and think there is a he very strong growth over this coming decade. as consumers increasingly use and rely on delivery services especially with the rice of e- commerce, we can play an increasingly vital role as the provider of choice and be a driver of growth opportunities for american business. americans mailing habits are changing and so are the shipping habits. people order goods online and e-commerce will drive those habits into the future. we have seen our package growth grow steadily and we expect this trend to continue. so, what kind of reaction do we
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expect to this announcement? people will say this is a responsible decision. it makes common sense. last several years, we have seen surveys conducted about a potential shift in delivery from -- in both packages and mail and consistently, we have seen the same result and this is true when the questions are asked a little bit differently. 70% of americans have consistently said they would support five-day schedule for mail and delivery for packages given the financial condition of the postal service. we have not done a poll right now to get an idea of this new approach, the six-day package delivery, but we expect that 70% number to jump higher once people become familiar with our new plan. our move is as a result of research and study. two years ago the service put together a detailed plan to implement a five-day delivery schedule and looked at the
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impacts and we have a strong operational framework. an important announcement is to timing. we made a commitment to residential customers to provide six-month notice to any delivery change and ensure that mailers have adequate time to adjust to schedules and begin communicating with our employees, our unions and management associations about these changes. many of our employees will be affected as we change to this new delivery schedule and we want to give our employees plenty of time to consider and plan for these changes. we pride ourselves on being a very responsible employer and make every effort to ensure that our employees receive good information. as you might imagine, most of the projected $2 billion in cost savings will occur as a result of a more efficient network and reduction in size of
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our work force. we are projecting that we will be able to reduce about 45 million work hours making these changes and the key areas of cost reduction will be saturday mail delivery, saturday mail processing and transportation. the postal service has a great track record of managing through major operational changes. and we believe that we can accomplish our work force goals through attrition and will be working with our unions and management associations. in terms of timing, we will publish detailed operational plans for our business mailers in march, next month, and will be conducting a number of educational efforts to make sure we reach all business customers. as we get closer to the delivery scheduled change in in august, we will be publishing information in post offices, putting it online and other customer contact to make sure our residential customers know. let me conclude with a couple of thoughts.
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this announcement today is just one part of a much larger strategy to return the postal service to long-term financial stability. the plans saves $2 billion annually, that we have a $20 billion gap to close. we are striving to raise revenues, reduce costs and gain efficiencies throughout the entire organization and making this change to our delivery schedule is a big-ticket item and simply too big of a cost savings to ignore. in fact, i would strongly argue it would be irresponsible for the postal service not to pursue this course. second, we are implementing this approach to improve our overall business performance. there is a strong and growing demand for our package service and we need to meet that over the coming decade and that's why we are continuing to maintain six days of package delivery. our five-day mail delivery reflects the changing market demand and we are not in a
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financial position where we can continue to maintain six-day delivery. we are in a situation where we are obligated to make tough choices and decisions and we are committed to keep the costs of mail as affordable as possible and our new delivery schedule helps us to reduce some of the pressure on the overall finances. let me finish where i started. our financial condition is urgent. we continue to require basic reforms to our business model and continue to encourage congress to look at our comprehensive plan. we need to operate with greater flexibility so we can adapt quickly to the changing marketplace. our announcement today is a step in that direction. thank you very much. i'd be more than happy to answer your questions but i'm going to answer the first question, is this legal? it is. the way the law is set right now with the continuing
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resolution that we can make this change. the good news is, the continuing resolution that governance the postal service that way expires on the 27th of march, so there's plenty in time in there if there is some disagreement, we can get that resolved and encourage congress to take any language out to stop us from moving to this five-day mail schedule. our customers said do the right thing and do not become a burden to taxpayers and our customers said we want packages on saturday and this is the right solution for the business and for our customers. questions? >> are you saying there is a loophole in the continuing resolution that is allowing you to do this when -- i mean -- i don't know for how long congress has had the language in
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their appropriations bill that says you have to do six-day service. i want to ask you about that. second thing is, why didn't you do this before if you were able to unilaterally do it? and third thing is, congress has not shown a willingness to go to five-day service for all theirkinds of reasons. so how do you deal with the political fallout or is this just a bluff to get congress to pass legislation that you guys have been very desperately pressing them to pass? >> we feel very strongly that our customers want us to do the right thing. and when you look at the volume of mail that we have lost over the course of the last three or four years, it's substantial. we have lost in just single- piece volume, 30 billion pieces. if you take that times the 46- cent stamp, that is $14 billion just that product alone. you have to be responsible. we don't take tax money. and i think we can work positively with congress to make these changes.
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last year, there was a lot of concern about post offices. we came up with a win-win after listening to our customers. they said keep it open, we'll take reduced dollars and saves us money and meets the customers' needs. we feel the same way. we want to work with congress. we are on good footing with us. this is not a hair splitter loophole kind of approach. it's the right thing to do. if there is a disagreement, there is like five or six weeks before the c.r. expires, let's work the language out, get it off the rules and move ahead. >> you say the c.r. has language in it that does not contain language -- >> our interpretation of the c.r., the language does not bind us to five-day and that's where we are. >> ron. lisa? >> >> angela. >> you said 45 million work
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hours, what does that equate in terms of the number of jobs and is this layoffs or do it through attrition? >> it equates to 22,500 jobs. right now, the postal service, we run in excess of 10% overtime, almost 12% and we have not hired and using attrition to take advantage of people leaving without having to resort to layoffs. by eliminating overtime and looking at some flexibility we have with the part-time work force and potentially working with the unions on some this will help. since the year 2000, the postal service has reduced approximately 306,000 jobs, people, new layoffs. we do not want to lay off. we are a responsible employer. yes, sir?
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>> just to follow up on her question, nuts and bolts, 22,500 jobs, how many people get laid off or bought out when? and the second question is in the back of your folder here, you have daily revenue and daily out-go and the revenue exceeds the out-go. so -- >> the revenue doesn't exceed the out-go. $15.9 billion last year. >> not according to your own handout. theuestion is, where's difference? >> let's talk about the jobs again. by taking advantage of natural attrition in our system, we have a lot of people leave. the postal service, interestingly enough, is a fairly old organization from a people's standpoint.
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our average age is 54 years olds. and it's easier to have a person work on overtime or replace them with a noncareer flexible employee. and what happens is as we make these changes in august, we will have worked up to that point. we have six months to work with mailers and our unions and management associations and our customers to get everything into place. we closed 2,200 post alpha silts and eliminated routes, people haven't noticed. we are good about doing these things. we need to move ahead with the plans we have. >> "usa today." what kind of impact will this have on delivery times? will we still be getting mail in two days and three days elsewhere in the country? and the second question is, is
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there any historical experience with this? has the post office always delivered mail six days a week? >> i'm going to tell you a story, too. from a network standpoint, no change. the network will continue to run. i didn't want to get into the details here, where we accept mail in the system on saturday and sunday, customers will have that opportunity. so no changes. if you put something in the mail on friday that would have normally been delivered saturday it will be delivered on monday. if it is going across the country, it will be delivered monday or tuesday. no changes. we have some history. the postal services has been delivering mail since 1860's. one time, probably a few people in the audience where they remember we delivered mail two times a day. i have an uncle who was a letter carrier who said, everyone was worried when we delivered mail two times a day and an italian newspaper and made -- the day after they made the change, he said, i said to the guy, sorry i couldn't
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deliver the newspaper, he said i don't read italian any way. the big changes we have made in our system over the years, people accept. they understand that. they understand that when you lose the first class volume that we have seen, you can't make ends meet from a financial standpoint. the choice is either change some of the service or raise prices and people don't want prices raised. so we'll make the changes in services. >> i just want to go back to talking about the language in the c.r. that you think gives you the authority to do this. could you talk a little bit more specifically about that, because the c.r. simply funds at the last fiscal year's levels. doesn't that imply that the
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language is still there? >> from a high level explanation is the way we interpret it. the c.r. talks about appropriations that occur in the current year. the way that we receive money from any c.r. or any appropriations bill, it's for services already provideded. there is no appropriation that runs the postal service. all congress does is reimburse us for money that has already been spent. and that language is different within the c.r. we have no interest in like trying to catch congress in a loophole. that's not our interest. we want to work with congress to do the right thing. right now, the opportunity exists from our estimate to make the changes on our own and if there's an argument about it, that's ok. we have six or seven weeks to change the language so when the next c.r. or the appropriation bill is done, our language is
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out of it and we continue on with the responsible course of action that we are proposing. yes. >> "wall street journal." what will your reaction be if the next appropriation bill there is language that says we bar you from making this change? what will your reaction be? >> part of my job is to make a very clear and consist argument in front of congress and in front of the administration that we're doing the right thing and with our business plan, we think we have done that. we have a $20 billion gap that needs to get resolved. this needs to get resolved from a legislative stand point. if you think about it, we are on the look for $5.5 with our be think we have done that. we have a $20 billion gap that n funding bill for the future of retiree health benefits. those things need to be resolved. we want to work with congress
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on things we don't have control over. i think congress will be very responsible and as we have seen shes the win-win with the small post offices, everybody knows this is the right way to go. customers have said we don't want the postal service to be a burden to taxpayers and we aren't going in that direction. >> what if customers don't accept this decision. you have done this since your inception? what if they protest? a couple of months back, you guys reversed your decision on things we don't have control over. i think congress will be to close post offices. would you reverse this decision if customers protest? >> we have done a lot of leg work with the customers on this subject. and i quote the 70%. i have seen surveys where it is 80% or higher. the major issues for customers have been, i ordered something on ebay or amazon and i want it delivered this weekend or can i get my medicine in the mail? packages of all sizes will still be delivered. what we'll move away from is the delivery of first class mail, period calls and catalogs. >> "washington post".
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are you essentially betting that congress will not move to stop this before march 27? and once the c.r. expires, you will have freedom to do what youwould you reverse this want. but the next part of that is, what makes you think congress won't re-impose a ban on five- day delivery since all of the arguments you have raised today you have raised repeatedly and your predecessor and congress has said let's look at this in two years in the senate. and the house hasn't shown any inclination to move to five-day delivery. if you get to march 27, are you confident that congress will not act to re-impose if the ban on five-day delivery? >> i can't speak for congress. what i would say and repeat
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what i said before. it's my job to lay out a good argument, a commonsense approach on why we should make this move. and the finances dictate it. as i said before, if we had the same volume mail we mad many years ago before people paid bills online, we wouldn't worry about this. we wouldn't about the prepayment of retiree health benefits. you think about the effect internet has had on everyone in this room, in terms of the news organizations, newspapers, television, we have the same effects. and we cannot put our head in the sand and say, gee, hope this problem will go away. hope is not a strategy. >> it hasn't been accepted repeatedly. >> i can't speak for congress. but i think again my job is to be able to lay the facts out so people understand what the
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reality is that we're facing. the good thing about what we're doing here i think and i think congress will appreciate that and i know the american people will is that packages will continue to get delivered on saturday and that's what people said they want. >> we usually hear that the private sector works best. >> of the private sector has some great companies. we partner with them. we do, from a postal service perspective, a good job of providing universal service that everyone is looking for. it is hard for the private sector to do those kind of things.
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part of the argument we have heard for years is maintaining delivery in the rural areas. that is expensive. we can balance the cost and that is the strength that you get with the postal service. another thing you get is a level of trust or a level of privacy. i think it will keep the mail delivery and package delivery and the postal service. >> already starting to see e- mail from congress saying they are supportive of the plan to move to five days. have you a level of trust briefed those committees yet? what was the reaction when you
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briefed them? people kind of fall behind them. can you give us a bit of those reactions? >> we have spoken to the oversight leadership and the house and the said acenate. i know you will see some reactions as you have seen today. we want to work with congress and make sure that we work with the administration. people do a tremendous job for this american public and american business and we want to be able to provide that same level of reliable service going into the future. i expect that to happen. >> this will briefed those committees yet? save $2 billion of a $20 billion budget gap. where do the others come from? >> the largest expenditure that we have, it is for the employee
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health benefits. and we have the number of others that we are working through right now out in terms of some of the network changes we are making. we also have other small changes we are discussing with congress and the union's right out around health care. the interesting thing to look at is that time is money. while you delay a change, these numbers add up. by the time you get to 17 and 18, that gap continues to go down. health care, funding, a wheel like to own our own health care plans. we think it would be at our best interests and our employees best interest between the pre funding and the expense we pay
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of $7 billion a year. >> i am wondering what specific additional legislation like to see congress passed and if this announcements help or hurt the effort. >> we have to resolve the health benefits system. we are not asking for relief. part of that is to resolve health-care costs from the postal service. we need legislation that addresses those two. we also the legislation that pays money into the retirement system. we are overpaid. it will apply to get that money back. other things from a congressional standpoint, we
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need some flexibility and some smaller changes going forward. there is a pocket of things that only congress can change. they are in the five-year plan. >> sorry if i am missing something, but are you saying that you're doing this that you would otherwise not have the ability to? >> again, it is our opinion and the fact of where it is that right now, this is not like we got you. it is our interpretation and the fact that paying for services already rendered, we can move ahead.
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there may be people that disagree and that is okay. we have six or seven weeks to get it right, let's move ahead with six days of packages and five days of mail. i spoke last night and they know what is going don. i spend a lot of time outside of this building and i speak to a letter carriers. they tell me to get to five days. preserve package delivery. we don't have enough mail to sustain here. 3:00 in the afternoon, the place was a swarm of people. 6:00 at 7:00 at night, we don't
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even have the lights turned on in some of these places. people have voted to pay bills electronically. it is what it is. we have to make those changes. at 7:00 atthey want to preservs organization. you have to make tough decisions and make them quickly. >> i was wondering about the 22,500 positions you mentioned. are those full-time equivalents? >> when we talk work hours, it includes overtime. if you convert it to people, a substantial portion is already working on overtime and those go away. what we have tried to do is anticipate what you see behind me on that downward spiral.
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we have been very conservative that we don't get ourselves in a position where you're giving people pink slips. preserve this organization. we have done it without layoffs, the right way. >> are you talking to other unions? >> we have saturday jobs that we have for letter carriers and some rural carriers. we have mail handlers that work in the evening and supervision jobs. those of the jobs that will be affected. >> what is the prospect for litigation on this? aren't you expecting a challenge from the unions? >> i expect we get a challenge.
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again, this is america. we can work it out. it is our intention that we would be able to work with congress and move on to get the next cleared up. it is the right thing to do. >> speaking about liquidity, what is cash on hand right now? will you have to make adjustments for operational adjustments? >> we are going to have a teller caught on friday. we are in better shape than october because we came out of the busiest mailing season of the year. we are consolidating 100 mail processing facilities. we had 22,500 members, whether
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there are clerks or maintenance people taking retirement and believed. we will continue to move ahead in-housin. they know that we have to make these changes. >> you mentioned you have flexibility with part-time employees? >> the way that the craft is structured today, we have full time people and flexible non- career. they don't have retirement benefits or anything like that. what that group is made up of his young people. that is why we have been focused
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on attrition. they have cash flow and conduct their lives, which is good. i would rather not shrink the hours. we will continue over time going forward. i would like to keep every part- time worker on the role. >> what is attrition typically? >> somewhere between 27,030 thousand. depending on what happens this summer, we will have upwards of 42,000. it sounds like we are wrapped
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up. sorry, one last question. >> in terms of the legality with the cr, b you have an opinion that is legal and would you make that public? >> i will have to ask my lawyers if i can make that public. thank you for coming out today. >> president obama met with policy and labor organizations tuesday to discuss emigration plan. an inside look at the meeting at the immigration debate. and the center for community
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change. the arizona senator talks about the differences between the bipartisan senate and the white house immigration proposals. anti-government treatment of soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder. and the office of the surgeon general. we take your calls, e-mail, and tweets every morning. >> coming up, members return at 9:30 a.m. eastern to work on the violence against women act. and vice president joe biden will be here to swear in the newly appointed senator who is replacing john kerry who is now secretary of state. >> there is no prescription or role model or cooked but for
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being a first lady. if you look back at the lives of martha washington, abigail adams, dolley madison, edith wilson, eleanor roosevelt, the truman, mamie eisenhower, you can see that each woman has defined the role in a way that is true to herself. how she can take care of her husband, take care of her family and make a contribution to our nation. >> first ladies, their influence and image, produced with the white house historical association. season one begins feb. 80 at 9:00 p.m. and pacific. >> president obama on wednesday nominated the ceo sally jule as
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secretary to replace ken salazar that will leave in march. at this event, we also hear from outgoing secretary salazar. >> please have a seat. everybody is so formal. well, good afternoon, everybody. the department of the interior is actually the department of america. other members of my cabinet may not entirely agree with that statement but you can see where he's coming from. secretary of the interior is in charge of overseeing 500 million acres of public land, including places like yellowstone and the grand canyon
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and protecting our natural heritage for our children and our grandchildren and their children to come. but the job also requires keeping an eye on america's future and making smart decisions about how we create jobs and help businesses grow and put ourselves on a path towards energy independence and that's not always an easy balancing act. but with enthusiasm and skill and dedication, that's exactly what ken salazar's done for the last four years. we were just reminiscing a little bit. i've known ken since we were both running for the senate together and became the only two incoming democrats in our senate class. pete remembers this. it was a lonely time. we actually lived in the same building when we first arrived in washington.
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and, ken, you'll recall, it was a little discouraging because basically everybody else that lived there was 20 or 25. so we were the two geriatrics in this building. but i came to appreciate quickly, not just him. not only did i come to appreciate his jump shot -- he's surprisingly quick on the court -- but also his patriotism and his belief that we have a responsibility to care for the land with which we've been blessed. it's not surprising that ken feels this way. his ancestors were living here before the mayflower set sail. as he explains it and relevant as we are working to get immigration reform passed. his family did not cross the border. the border crossed them. and that's why when i needed
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someone to lead the interior i didn't need to look far. since then ken has cracked down on waste. ofs improved the management the department to make it work better for the american people. he's ushered in a new era of conservation for our land, our water and our wildlife. he's established seven new national parks, 10 new national wildlife refuges. he's opened more public land and water for safe and responsible energy production -- not just gas and oil but wind and solar -- creating thousands of new jobs and nearly doubling our use of renewable energy in this country. he's helped to forge what's probably the strongest working relationship with tribal leaders that the federal government has seen in modern times. and when the unexpected has happened, like the gulf oil spill or hurricane sandy, he's been on the ground making sure that people get help right away and we deal with these
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challenges as professionally as possible. so i really like ken salazar, if you haven't gotten the point. ken is now ready to head back to colorado and spend more time with hope and his family and so in addition to just saying thank you, ken, for the extraordinary work that you've done, ken is also going to have the opportunity to introduce his successor. and i am extraordinarily proud today to nominate another strong and capable leader to take the reins at interior and that is ms. sally jewell. in high school sally's aptitude test showed she had a knack for mechanical reasonable and spatial -- we check. we do thorough vetting before nominations. of course her recommended
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professions after she took these professions were to be a nurse or a teacher. just like all the other girls in her class. and it wasn't until she was an undergraduate at the university of washington she realized her boyfriend's home work was more interesting than hers and she decided to become an engineer. sally went on to work in the oil fields of oklahoma and california. later she brought her experience in the energy sector in banking where she spent 19 years determining what companies succeed and fail. and most recently as the c.e.o. of r.e.i., a position she's held for the last eight years. sally has helped turn a stalling outdoor retailer into one of america's most successful and environmentally conscious companies. last year r.e.i. donated almost $4 million to protect trails and parks, and 20% of electricity used in their stores
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comes from renewable sources. even as sally spent the majority of her career outside of washington, where i might add the majority of our interior is located, she is an expert on the energy and climate issues that are going to shape our future. she's committed to building our nation-to-nation relationship with indian country. she knows the link between conservation and good jobs. she knows that there's no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress. that in fact those two things need to go hand in hand. she's shown a company with more than $1 billion in sales can do the right thing for our planet. sally's broad expertise and set of values i know are going to serve her well as she takes on these new challenges. ands got a wonderful supportive family who i understand enjoy the great outdoors just like she does. so they got a vested interest
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in making sure that the department of the interior is doing the right thing. when sally's confirmed, i'm willing to bet that she will be the first secretary of the interior who frequently hikes mailbox peak in her native washington state and who once spent a month climbing mountains in antarctica which i don't think of something i would do because it seems like it would be cold and i was born in hawaii. \[laughter] so for sally the toughest part of this job will probably be sitting behind a desk. i suspect she'll want to get out of the office quite a bit. but, again, i want to thank ken salazar and the entire salazar family for their extraordinary service, their extraordinary friendship. the department of the interior is stronger. this country is stronger. our natural resources are in a better place because of his extraordinary service. i could not be more thrilled with the work that sally, i know, is going to do in following that path that ken has carved.
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i expect the senate to confirm her as quickly as possible. and with that i'd like to invite both of them to say a few words, starting with my dear friend, ken salazar. \[applause] >> thank you, mr. president. is it the same one i have? >> no, that's sally's. just didn't want to get them mixed up. >> let me just first of all say to president obama that i am humbled and honored beyond imagination to have been a part of the president obama dream team for the united states of america. his presidency is historic. his team in the white house is historic and the team at the
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department of interior are historic. and for that i will ever be eternally grateful to you, my wonderful friend, mr. president. >> thank you. \[applause] >> so with your leadership and support and this wonderful team that we have here, we have in fact changed the way that the department of interior does business. we have seized the opportunity together with our other closing on the cabinet and under the president's leadership and your stellar staff here at the white house to put the nation on a path towards energy independence. today, the largest solar projects in the history of the world are coming up out of the deserts of the public lands of the united states and our
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foreign oil imports are at the lowest that they have been since 1995. i'm proud, mr. president, of you and your team. because of your leadership on conservation for america. from your support and the signing of the historic 2009 public lands act to the launch of america's great outdoors. together we have ushered in a 21st century conservation agenda and preserve the crown jewels of our nation. from the crown of the continent in montana to the florida everglades to the statue of liberty. i'm proud of our historic work and perhaps more proud of this than almost anything else for the nation's first americans. from resolving the longstanding conflicts like cobell, to delivering clean drinking water to the navajo nation, you've given credibility, mr. president, to the proposition that the nation's first americans, too, will share in the american dream. mr. president, my parents pushed their eight children to become first generation college
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graduates and taught us that anything was possible in this nation of ours. as your secretary of interior, you have given to me the opportunity to prove them right and to achieve that american dream, and for that, hope, my entire family will be eternally grateful to you. also, mr. president, i'm proud to stand with you here as you announce your selection of an outstanding person to be your nominee for secretary of interior. sally jewell knows firsthand the inextricable link between conservation and the economy. sally was a key contributor to you and to your entire team in the creation of the america's great outdoors agenda. she's been a champion of land and water conservation fund and so many other conservation issues of our time. i also know that her successful business record and experience
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as an oil and gas engineer will serve her well as she implements your all-of the above energy agenda, which has been such a keystone to you over the last four years, and i'm sure you will have more to say about that very soon. so mr. president, i believe as you have done with all the decisions that you have made since i have been working with you on your team, this is a stellar decision and you've chosen somebody who will be a stellar, outstanding secretary of the interior, sally jewell. \[applause] >> well, thank you, mr. president, for your kind words and for the confidence you're placing in me with this
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nomination. i have a great job at r.e.i. today, but there's no role that compares than the call to serve our country as secretary of the department of interior. i'm humbled and i'm energized by this opportunity and i look forward to getting to know members of the senate as they consider my nomination in the coming weeks. thank you, secretary salazar, for the opportunities you've given to people across this country, to engage with the department of interior, sharing their hopes and their dreams for our public lands, our resources, our people, especially our first people, our history and our culture. i look forward to working with the dedicated employees at interior who work so hard to care for our land and our resources every day. i'm going to do my best to fill those big boots of yours, but i think i might get lost in your hat. \[laughter] thank you, warren, my husband of nearly 35 years. my two children, peter and ann,
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for their love and their support on this career journey. i'm excited to take this new challenge. thank you so much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> on c-span tonight, defense secretary leon panetta talked to students at georgetown university about the impact of sequestration on the military. at then leading republican members of the armed services committee talk about avoiding sequestration. then the house speaker response to president obama's proposal to delay spending cuts. president obama met with policy and labor organizations tuesday to discuss the immigration plan.
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on the next "washington journal," a look at the immigration debate with deepak bhargava. then jeff blake about the differences between the bipartisan immigration proposal. then a discussion about soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder. our guest is former special assistant for mental-health at the office of the army surgeon general. we will take your calls, and females, and tweets every morning starting at 7:00 eastern on c-span. >> on thursday, president obama and congressional leaders attended the national prayer breakfast. the event dates back to 1953 with president eisenhower. cnn live starting at 8:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 2. >> what i have discovered is
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that the absolute worst strategy to achieve happiness in life is to make that your primary goal. iif you make happiness what you're striving for, you will probably not achieve it. if you will end up being narcissistic, self involved, caring about your own pleasures and your own satisfactions and live as your paramount goal. happiness is best as a byproduct of other things. meaningful work and family, friends, good health, love, and care. we get happiness not by aiming directly for it but by throwing ourselves and to the right projects and fundamentally trying to have integrity and be a good person. >> bien "conscious capitalism,"
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john mackey explored how capitalism can be lethal -- can lead to a better world. like us on facebook. outgoing defense secretary leon panetta talks about the automatic spending cuts known as the sequestration. the defense department's priorities and cyber attacks. he spoke to students. this is one hour and 10 minutes. [applause] >> thank you very much. i really appreciate that very kind introduction. i want to thank you for the invitation to be here and hopefully give you one of my last speech is as secretary of defense.
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and have the chance to be able to share some thoughts with all of you. with the challenge related to security, but more as the product of jesuit education, as a catholic and as a beneficiary over the years of your outstanding faculty and staff and your important policy contributions that this university has made in a number of areas that affect people of this country, i'm truly honored to have this opportunity today. i've had a deep and abiding respect for georgetown throughout the almost 40 to 50 years that i've been involved in public service. and i have a deep respect for
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the generation of leaders that have gone forward from this campus to serve our nation. i just had the opportunity to meet with your cadets. some of the cadets in the rotc program. as someone who went through the rotc program at santa clara university and then ultimately served two years in the army, i can tell you that i have tremendous admiration for those that have made the decision to
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serve this country in uniform. the talents of these men and women and the innovative programs at georgetown's new institute of women, peace and security underscore for me the university's leadership in the study of global security. all of this counts in terms of helping our country being more secure. throughout my career i've had the opportunity to work close low, obviously, with a number of the -- closely, obviously, with a number of the university's distinguished alumni. in particular president clinton, and he and i during the time i was both o.m.b. director
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and then as his chief of staff, would spend many hours of conversation talking about his experience as a southern baptist getting a catholic education. he talked about it a lot. and also during my time, obviously, in the obama administration i greatly benefited from many of the georgetown graduates. i had the honor to have someone as my chief of staff, jeremy bash, who graduated here from georgetown, serve as my chief of staff at the c.i.a. and then
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followed me to the pentagon as my chief of staff. and also someone who's had a public affairs at the pentagon, george little, who is also someone who both graduated and later taught here at georgetown. talented young individuals who have been at my side every day for the last four years at both
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the c.i.a. and the pentagon, and i am deeply grateful for their work for me and on behalf of the nation and i am deeply grateful for georgetown for training such extraordinary public servants. and speaking of extraordinary public servants, i think many in this audience know that there's a georgetown professor that the president has nominated to serve as the next secretary of defense, chuck hagel, and i am confident and i've expressed that confidence publicly that the men and women of the department of defense will have the kind of advocate they need as the nation emerges from more than a decade of war. lastly, i'm honored to be here, as i said, as a catholic and as a proud graduate of another jesuit institution, santa clara university. my time in the university's undergraduate and law school, in many ways shaped the rest of my life as this education will shape the rest of your lives. i remain deeply thankful to the
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jesuits for the outstanding education that i received. having gone through seven years of philosophy and syllogisms and theology and cannon law, i have been blessed by all the grace and skepticism that jesuits can give. more importantly, i've been shaped by what i believe is their pragmatic approach to life and to faith and to the issues in general. it was that education and my catholic upbringing, particularly as the son of italian immigrants, that instilled in me the very core principles and values that i carry with me till this day. my faith, my belief in hard work, my belief that you have to give something back to this country. that's what a democracy is all about.
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my belief in knowing the difference between right and wrong. i can't tell you how important that education was, to giving me that sense of conscience that is so importance, particularly in public service. i can remember working for senator keekle and going there first time as legislative assistant and meeting with the united states senator which was a pretty awesome experience and he said to us at that time. there were two legislative assistants at that time. one covering domestic affairs and one covering foreign affairs. these days they have 20, 30 assistants that cover all kinds of things. but there were just two of us.
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and the senator said, i want you to know that you will be subject to temptation in your job. there will be people trying to get to me through you. but our purpose here is to serve the american people. and i want you to remember one thing. in the morning you have to get up and you have to look at yourself in the mirror. i have never forgot that because in the end it is about integrity, being honest with yourself and being honest with others. and it also helped develop my belief that you have to be willing to fight for what you believe in. more than half a century ago a young catholic president said, ask what your country -- ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. and when he said that, and i heard him say that, he inspired me to follow those values and to commit my life to public service. and now some 50 years after graduating from santa clara, entering the united states army as a young lieutenant, this chapter of my career in government is coming to a close and it's time for me to return to california, my home in california in monterey. to my wife, sylvia, three sons, six grandchildren, and to the panetta institute for public policy which is an institute that my wife and i established whose mission is to try to
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prepare the next generation for a life in public service. we were concerned when we returned after my stint in the first four years of the clinton administration going back to california, my sense was that the students that i saw, the students that i was talking to and taught, my sense was that they didn't really appreciate the importance of public service. and that they were looking at other areas to be able to explore in their career and it was for that reason that sylvia and i thought it was really important to do something to try to let young people know how important it is. to give something back to this country. it is that generation, your generation to i'd like to try to address in my remarks today. as i leave government, i really believe that we are at a critical crossroads in the life
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of this nation. we're emerging from a deep economic recession. we're emerging from major wars that occurred in the post-9/11 era, and the hope is we can bring those wars to an end. we are facing as a nation new opportunities and new possibilities. i really believe that in many ways we have an opportunity to enter a whole new renaissance in the united states, to develop an economy that is creative, that is innovative, that can grow strong in the 21st century. a country that can provide world leadership, can provide the kind of security, partnership in which we can work with other countries to develop their capabilities, to form new alliances, to form new partnerships with countries across the world so that we can build a family of nations, that can help provide security in a difficult world. but at the same time that we
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have those opportunities, we face some very real challenges. grabbling with a record -- grappling with a record debt and deficit, threat of global warming, threat of global poverty, of pandemics, of national security challenges like continuing war on terrorism, the instability of iran and north korea, rising powers, turmoil across the middle east, turmoil in north africa, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the growing threat of cyberattacks. how we confront these problems, how we deal with these challenges will in many ways determine that future course of america. it will determine whether the united states will be a leader in the 21st century or whether we will be just another failed empire in history. to succeed we will depend on the resilience of our economy, the strength of our diplomatic and military institutions and above all, the effectiveness of
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our political system that underpins in many ways what we do as a country. and that brings me to what i see as perhaps the most urgent task facing this nation and facing all of us and that is overcoming the partisan dysfunction in congress that poses a threat to our quality of life, to our national security, to our economy, to our ability to address the problems that confront this country. when i think of the current political environment, i cannot help but share a story that another jesuit educated member of congress and a fellow italian that i had the honor to serve with, a guy named silvio conte from massachusetts, told during the time we were involved in budget negotiations, this was during the reagan administration. republicans, democrats came together with the leadership of
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the administration -- reagan administration. we sat in a room in the capitol working day in, day out. everything was on the table. we had defense on the table. we had discretionary on the table. we had entitlements on the table and we had revenues on the table. everything. and we were working through it trying to develop a package. leadership made very clear that we had to get this done. every time we thought we were close, somebody would stand up, walk out of the room, didn't like what was happening and, you know, it got tough.
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and at one meeting where somebody just got up, we thought we were close to getting a deal. it was a senator from florida that got up and said, i can't support this, and he stormed out of the room. silvio said, you know, this reminds me of the story of the three missionaries. the french, the british and the italian missionaries who were in a very remote part of the world and they were going down this very remote wilderness river in their canoe and the canoe suddenly tipped over and they managed to make it to shore only to fall into the hands of a cannibal tribe. and the chief of the tribe looked at them and said, look, you got a choice here. you can either jump in this pot of boiling water or you can
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take your own lives. either way we're going to use your skins for our canoes. french missionary on hearing that pulled out his little knife, cut his wrists and said, viva la france. the british missionary took out his knife, plunged it into his chest and said, god save the king. the italian took out his
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stiletto and started punching himself in the stomach and chest area, and the chief said, what the hell are you doing? the italian said, i'm trying to screw up your canoe. \[laughter] only an italian is supposed to tell that story. but these days, the fact is there are a lot of people trying to screw up the canoe. i used to say to the students at the panetta institute -- and i still say it when i get a chance, and i say it to you, that we govern in our democracy either through leadership or through crisis.
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if leadership is there and there are those that are elected who are willing to take the risks associated with leadership, to make the tough decisions that have to be made, and hopefully crisis can be avoided, but if leadership is not there, if it's absent, for whatever reason, then make no mistake about it, crisis drives policy in this country. today crisis drives policy.
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it has become too politically convenient to simple low allow a crisis to develop and get worse and then react to the crisis. i understand. look. somebody who was in politics as a representative for 16 years, i understand the mentality. why do i have to make tough decisions that anger my constituents, raise their taxes, cut their entitlements, why do i have to do those decisions when i can simply stand back and allow crisis to occur? and then in the midst of crisis, terrible crisis, then i can look at my constituents and say, i had a hell of a crisis i had to deal with so that's why i
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had to make these decisions. it's the easy way out. and i understand that it's one way to govern -- by crisis. but make no mistake about it, there is a price to be paid. and the price to be paid is that you lose the trust of the american people. you create an aura of constant uncertainty that pervades every issue and gradually undermines the very credibility of this nation to be able to govern itself. my greatest concern today is that we are putting our national security at risk by lurching from budget crisis to budget crisis to budget crisis. when i was nominated to be the
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23rd secretary of defense, based on my own experience dealing with budget issues, as chairman of the house budget committee, i was director of the office of management and budget, i knew very well that the department of defense had a responsibility to be able to do its part in dealing with the fiscal crisis in this country. every budget summit that i had been a part of in the reagan years, first bush years, during the clinton administration, every budget summit we knew that defense had to play a role in trying to be able to control our deficits. soon after i became secretary, i was handed a number of $487 billion, almost half a trillion dollars that i was to cut out of the defense budget.
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it was contained in the budget control act, and i was required to be able to get that number of savings over the next 10 years. after a decade of blank check spending in the department of defense, it was important for us, the leaders of the department, chairman of the joint chiefs, the service chiefs, the service secretaries and myself who strongly believe that we had to meet this challenge of reducing the defense budget but we had to do it in a way that simply would not hallow out the force. we came out of every other
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period, every other war, we made the terrible mistake of hallowing out the force coming out of world war ii, coming out of korea, coming out of vietnam, coming out of the cold war. the attitude was, just cut the hell out of defense, so it was cut across the board and it hallowed out the force, made us weaker so we said we cannot repeat that mistake. the best way to do that is to then establish a strategy. what is the defense strategy we want in order to create the force that we need, not just today, but in the future, the force of the 21st century?
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and how do we do this in a way that also meets our commitments to our service members and to our families so we don't break trust with them? so our effort then was aimed at developing a defense strategy for what we needed in the 21st century, and during the course of my first six months as secretary we worked together as a team. i had everybody in the room, something that, you know, was not exactly that prevalent in the past. military over here, civilians over here and not that often did they come together to really work to resolve policy. and my approach was, i'm going to -- i have to be able to work as a team if we're going to be able to take on this challenge. and to their credit they did that, both military and civilian leaders, and we consulted with
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the president. we consulted with the national security team at the white house as we went through this. and everybody endorsed the policy and strategy that we came up with. it has five key elements. the first is that we know we're going to be smaller and leaner coming out of these wars. we are going to be smaller and leaner as a force. but we can be as a force agile, flexible, quickly deployable and at the cutting edge of technology. that can be an effective force for the future. yet, we can be smaller, but agility, flexibility, the ability to move fast when crisis happens, that's what can distinguish the united states' defense policy. secondly, it was important for us to project power into the
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pacific and into the middle east. those are the key areas where we've got some serious problems -- north korea, iran. we need to have a power presence in those areas. theuse that's where greatest potential for conflict lies. third, we need to maintain a presence elsewhere in the world, and so what was developed was the idea, an innovative idea of rotational deployments where we could send our forces into countries, latin america, africa, europe, other places to train, to exercise, to work with that country to develop
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their capabilities, to develop new partnerships, new alliances so that they could become part of this security force for the future. fourthly, we had to maintain the capability to defeat more than one enemy at a time. if we're in a war in north korea and at the same time the straits of hormuz is closed, we got to be able to respond to both of those conflicts. to be able to confront the enemy and ultimately defeat an enemy on both fronts, and we have that capability, maintaining that capability was important. and lastly, this can't just be about cutting. it has to be about investing. every time we've gone through budgets -- i used to do this during the clinton administration. yes, you cut, you find savings but at the same time you establish priorities. budgets are not just numbers. budgets are about priorities. and so what are our priorities that we have to invest in for the future? so we made the decision we have to invest in things like cyber, in unmanned systems, in special operations, in space all of which will help us be on the cutting edge of the future. invest in new technologies. invest in the ability to mobilize quickly. invest in the ability to maintain -- as i said -- that decisive technological edge in the future, and maintain our industrial base in this country, our defense industrial base.
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the last damn thing we need if we face a crisis is to somehow contract out that responsibility to another country. so we have to maintain the core industrial base that we need, the skills that are essential to our ability to maintain a strong national defense. so that strategy established priorities. it reshaped the force to deal with the challenges not just today but of tomorrow. let me just mention one area where i believe we need to be ahead of the game and that's in the cyber area. as i said, we face a number of threats -- korea, north korea, iran, terrorism, etc..
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but one of the great threats we face today is the threat from cyberattacks. we have got to have the capability to stay ahead of this new challenge. in the face of what i believe is a growing threat to our economy and a growing threat to our critical infrastructure. we are literally the target of thousands of cyberattacks every day. every day thousands of cyberattacks that are striking at the private sector, strike at silicon valley, strike at other institutions, within our society, strike at government, strike at the defense department and our intelligence agencies. and cyber is now at a point where the technology is there to cripple a country, to take down our power grid system, to take
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down our government systems, take down our financial systems and literally paralyze the country. that is a reality. and so for that reason it is extremely important that we do everything possible to develop the technical capabilities to operate effectively in cyberspace. over the last two years, we've done that. we've invested a great deal, and we will do that in the future. we are going to invest more in cyber to try to give us the capability to be able to protect our critical infrastructure against the kind of imminent and destructive cyberattacks i just talked about. but to do that, frankly, we are going to need legislation. we've asked for legislation
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from the congress to try to give us the tools we need, the legal tools we need so we can develop a partnership with the private sector to be able to confront these challenges. i hope that ultimately congress will take that step. that's an important step to trying to be able to defend this country from those nations that would use a cyberattack to weaken us. with the defense strategy that we establish put in place, our hope is that we can deal with the wide range of threats and do it in a way that meets our fiscal responsibilities. i don't think you have to choose between protecting our national security and protecting our fiscal security as well. but this strategy and our ability to effectively confront the security challenges that i talked about is at a very serious risk.
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not because of our capabilities, not because of what we can do, not because of the strength of the united states. we are the strongest military power in the world. it's not serious. that's not what creates a serious risk. what creates a serious risk today is the pervasive budget uncertainty that threatens our security and threatens our economic future. since the budget control act was passed in august, 2011, the department of defense, other agencies in the government have
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been living under this serious cloud, this shadow, the shadow of sequestration, this legislative madness that was designed to be so bad, so bad that no one in their right mind would let it happen. for those of you whoever's seen "blazing saddles" it's the scene of the sheriff putting the gun to his head in order to try to establish law and order. that's sequestration. for more than a year and a half, the joint chiefs of staff and i have been extremely vocal about our deep concerns about taking another half trillion dollars out of the defense budget in an across-the-board fashion that hits every area and that
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guarantees we hallow out the military. across-the-board cuts that would deeply damage our national security. today, we approach another trigger for sequestration. march 1. and the department of defense is again facing what i believe and what the service chiefs believe and what the chairman of the joint chiefs of staffs believes is the most serious readiness crisis that this country has endured in nearly a decade. the president and members of congress shares our concerns. there isn't anybody that i've talked to on capitol hill that doesn't think this isn't crazy. -- is crazy. this is a dangerous tool to impact the country. the president, as you know, has been pushing hard to try to get a big deal established that would control the deficit problem. he's proposed a comprehensive plan. if you do a comprehensive plan, if congress does a comprehensive plan, it would detrigger sequester. that was the whole point of establishing sequester.
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let me also remind you -- i talk about security. let me also remind you that sequester does serious damage to the nondefense side of the budget as well. it's not just defense. it's education, loss of teachers. it's childcare. i think the estimate is that some 100,000 children will be kicked out of head start. it's about health care. 700,000 women and children will no longer receive nutrition assistance. it's about food safety. it's about law enforcement. it's about airport safety. it's about a number of other programs that support our quality of life in this country, and our quality of life is important to our national security. all of this would be the consequence of an arbitrary
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legislative mechanism so onerous, so onerous that it was designed not to take effect but to force the right kind of action. the president yesterday issued a stark warning about the consequence of sequester, of these deep and indiscriminant cuts and urged congress to at least pass a smaller package of savings and tax reform that could delay sequester. i strongly support those efforts. we cannot allow this to happen, but it is difficult to believe, frankly, that congress would simply stand aside, stand aside, fail to make the decisions necessary to resolve this crisis and allow the defense, economy and quality of life of america to be irreparably damaged.
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but time and time again they've postponed action and instead have fallen into a pattern of constant partisanship and gridlock and recrimination. and not only have they failed to come together around a big plan to reduce the deficit, they' also failed in their basic responsibility -- they've also failed in their basic responsibility to pass appropriations bills, how we fund the government each year. we're operating on a c.r. today, continuing resolution on appropriations, because they failed to pass appropriations bills. you know when the last time is that the congress passed all of the appropriations bills in time? 1994. 1994. that is a basic responsibility, to be able to fund the government.
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my fear, my fear, is that there is a dangerous and callous attitude developing among some republicans and some democrats that these dangerous cuts can be allowed to take place in order to blame the other party for the consequences. this is a kind of "so what" attitude that says, let's see how bad it can get in order to have the other party blink. i have seen that attitude before. it was the same attitude that led to a government shutdown in
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1995. the same attitude. let it happen. the other side will blink. even if it will hurt people, our citizens, our security. this is a good way to make the other side blink. and when they did it in 1995, it badly hurt the american people and created a political backlash that damaged those who were blamed for the crisis. same damn this will happen again if they allow this to occur. those that do not learn the history lessons are bound to repeat the mistakes that were
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made. we are about to see that happen again. if congress does not act, and the department is forced to operate, as we will be, under a year-long sequestration, and a year-long continuing resolution, let me tell you what will happen. we will have to abruptly absorb in a period of about six months, remember we are in the fiscal year starting october 1. we have seven months left in the fiscal year. if the sequester goes into effect, we will have to absorb those cuts in the latter part of the year. $46 billion in sequester reduction. and we will have to face a $35 billion shortfall in operating funds for our active forces. that is a reality. that is a reality.
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make no mistake, if these cuts happen, there will be a serious disruption in defense programs and a sharp decline in our military readiness. we have already begun an all-out effort to plan for how to operate under such a scenario. but it is also very clear there are no good options. each military service is moving ahead with their actions. we have got to reduce the spend rate we are in now. we assume, silly us, that we would get a 2013 appropriation, what we requested. we are operating on this whole that 2013 appropriations bill will be passed. it has not been passed. if we are spending at this rate
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and we suddenly have to hit reductions and take those deductions where? we have got to protect the war fighters in afghanistan, our fourth predestines in the middle east, and there is only one place that comes out of. readiness. that is what will happen. we have already implemented and try to slow down the spend rate. we have implemented a hiring freezes. we have -- we are laying off temporary employees. we are looking at putting 46,000 jobs at risk. but we are also being forced to consummate courage to contemplate what will happen if the sequestered goes into affect. that is happening based on what the fear is if it goes into place. we will furlough as many as
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800,000 dod civilians around the country for up to 22 days. they could face a 22% cut in their sally -- salary. you do not think that will impact our economy, jobs, and our ability to recover from the recession? we will cut back on army training and maintenance, putting about two-thirds of our active brigade combat teams outside afghanistan and reduced readiness level. we have got to cut back on their trading. we will have to cut back on the ability to support the troops who are not in the war zone. we put more stress on those who are in the war zone. we will have to shrink our global operations, with a reduction as much as one-third in our western pacific naval operations. this whole idea about trying to
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rebalance will be impacted. we will cut the air force flying hours and weapons systems maintenance, putting flying unions below acceptable readiness standards by the end of the fiscal year. this is not a game. this is reality. these steps would seriously damage a fragile american economy and they would degrade our ability to respond to crises specified -- precisely at a time of rising instability across the globe. north africa. from syria to north korea. we would have no choice but to implement these kinds of measures if congress fails to carry out its basic responsibility to the american people.
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this is no way to govern the united states of america. this budgetary crisis creates uncertainty. it creates doubt. most importantly from my point of view, it undermines the men and women in uniform who are willing to put their lives on the line in order to protect this country. it puts at risk our fundamental mission of protecting the american people. worst of all, as i said, it is a self-made crisis. a basic fact of life is that the department of defense cannot do its job without the partnership of the congress. we cannot do it without republicans and democrats who are willing to work with us to protect our national security. in a world of responsible politics, members of congress
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elected by the american people should never take a step that would badly damage our national defense and undermine our support for our men and women in uniform. and yet, today, we are on the brink of seeing that happen. even if congress acts again, temporarily, to prevent the effects of this crisis, and, hopefully, they will do that, but i have to tell you, if they only kick the can down the road, it continues a long shadow of doubt about whether the fundamental problems we face can really be resolved. that is a high price, a very high price that could be paid as a result of governing by crisis. as i said, the ultimate result
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of that is to lose trust of the american people. this is not just a bad joke. this is not just a bad joke. it is not a bad joke that congress now has the lowest ratings it has had in recent history. so, what i would like to urge is that the leaders of congress do what is right for this country. i know the political system is now immersed in sound bites, money, and they are trying to raise money for elections. i looked at one example, a recent article, where a campaign group was talking to members of congress. they suggested that for a
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typical member, four 25 hours of their day should be spent calling prospective donors. with only 324 spent conducting business with people. with so little time, biscuits so little -- no wonder why they do not get to know each other and trust each other and do not work together. i have spent most of my life in washington. i am not naive about the messy realities of governing in our democracy. i have been there. it has become somewhat of a cliche for members of congress like myself to hearken back to the good old days where there was bipartisan and consensus. make no mistake. governing has never been easy. from the budget battles of the reagan administration to the government set down -- shut down, i have witnessed gridlock.
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they are the enduring features of a political system. they can also be a crutch for leaders to use to avoid their responsibilities. i am proud to say that during the time i served in congress, i did witness a lot of what congress did at its best. despite the partisan differences, there was a bipartisan group of leaders in the congress, tip o'neill, bob michael, howard baker, bob dole, george mitchell, and so many others, who worked at that time with the republican administration to enact bold, budget compromises. we sat together in budget meetings, put everything at the table, and we ultimately found compromise. it is that spirit of leadership and cooperation that ultimately led to a balanced budget and a surplus. ultimately, we all have a
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responsibility to hold our elected leaders accountable and to fight for the kind of country that we want to have. we must never forget that our democracy has survived because it was born in the principle of public service. preamble of the constitution of thee the people," united states, in order to establish a more perfect union, in order to establish justice -- ordain the constitution of the united states." i have always remembered i had the opportunity to live the
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american dream. the son of italian immigrants, with the ability like, like millions of others, to have the opportunity to be able to succeed at what you want to do. we have parents like millions of others who came to this country, no skills, no education, no money in their pockets, but the hope to capture that american dream. i asked my father why he did it. why would you travel all those miles to come to a strange nation? he believed my mother and he could give their children a better life. i think that is the american dream. continues to be the fundamental bond that we all share as americans. we will make whatever sacrifices necessary to give our children a better life, a quality education, and a more secure future.
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if there is one thing i have learned in life, it is that this future is not guaranteed. you have got to work for it and you have got to fight for it. i will end with a story i have told many times because it makes the right point. the rabbi and a priest decided they would get to know each other a little better. one evening, they went to a boxing match. they thought if they went to the events together, talk to each other, they would learn about each other's religion. at the boxing match, just before the bell rang, one of the boxes made the sign of the cross. the rabbi nudged the priest and asked what that meant. the priest says, it does not mean a thing if he cannot fight. [laughter] we bless ourselves with the hope that everything will be ok in this country. it does not mean a damn thing
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unless you are willing to fight for it. my message to you is that it does not mean a damn thing if you are not willing to fight for the american dream, a dream my parents had, a dream of giving our children a better life, a dream of always maintaining a government of, by, and for people. that course of duty is now passing to a new generation. with it passes the responsibility to never stop fighting for that better future. thank you very much. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. [applause]
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i will take a few questions. call ahead. >> thank you. thank you for coming to georgetown university and talking to us. i am in the security studies program here. i am taking a class on u.s. defense budgeting. at georgetown, we do care about these issues and we share your concerns, as well. in the defense budget of 2013, i understand 19% of the budget is being represented for personnel.
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about 26% is for procurement. 40% is for operations. if you look at all the different accounts for which the budget is requested, and the sequestration cuts across the board will affect seriously to the manpower, the modernization, and the leadership of the military. i have reviewed a lot of documents of the defense budget for many years in the past. i do not see a way how we can cut the defense budget. i do not see a way how sequestration will occur and not affect these three crucial defense-related areas. now, knowing that only around 4% of the gdp is being
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constituted by the base defense budget, and a bulk of the gdp -- >> we agree on your fax. what is the question? [laughter] >> right. this is a puzzle to me. my question is, this is really a puzzle. [laughter] how can you balance the budget without either cutting the defense budget or the mandatory account, medicare, medicaid? >> i got it. look, understand that the
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federal budget has certain parameters and if you are serious about trying to reduce the deficit, which now is at $1 trillion plus, and trying to reduce the national debt, there is no way you can do that without putting everything on the table. you have got to put everything on the table. obviously, as you do that, you will established some priorities. you have got to find savings. the entitlement programs right now represents almost two-thirds of the federal budget. about one-third is discretionary spending. there is no way you can move toward a balanced budget and not put all of that on the table. every budget summit i have been a part of -- the region --
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though reagan administration, the bush administration, the clinton administration, putting together the budget -- we had to raise a different -- additional revenues, and we had to take reductions on discretionary spending. all that has to be part of the package. all of that has to be included if you want to be able to put together a budget deal that will solve this problem. but we went through this before. this is not new. republicans do not want to raise taxes. they do not want to cut defense. democrats to not want to cut entitlement spending. in order to get a deal, both have to make compromises. both have to be willing to give in order to put that large deal together. in the past, that is what happened. republicans were willing to compromise. democrats were willing to compromise. the result was we ultimately
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balanced the federal budget. we did what we had to do. damn it, that is what has to be done now. defense has to play its role. but to put the package together that you have to have in order to ultimately resolve our deficit issue, all of those areas have to be included in the deal. next question. >> good morning. i am a freshman here. my question is concerning cyber attacks. you mentioned they posed an expensive threat. do you believe cyber warfare, such as a virus, will be a part -- an important part of future u.s. foreign policy? >> cyber technology, and you are
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so aware of this, developments that have taken place in the have been incredible in the last 10 years. i worked with a typewriter. [laughter] what i am seeing today in terms of the developments on cyber, it has been incredible. i have to say, working at the cia, the defense department, and seeing the kind of cutting edge technology that is being developed, there is no question in my mind that part and parcel, and the attack on this country in the future by any enemy is
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going to include a cyber element to it. but that will be part of the weapon that will be used to cripple us in the event of an attack. i have to say the united states , it is part of our strategy. we considered the importance of the cyber element. yes, we are living in that world. i have said this and i believe it. it is very possible the next pearl harbor could be a cyber attack. you could in fact cripple our power grid system, our government systems, our financial systems, with a cyber attack appeared it would ha. that is something we have to worry about and protect against. >> good morning.
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i am an international student from japan. i would like to ask your opinion about the dispute between china and japan. recently, the japanese government has revealed that the chinese have had a lot of -- i want to hear what your position is>> i was just in that part of the world in the last few months. i had a chance to go to japan and visit with my counterparts in japan and discuss their concerns and then i went on to china to talk with them about their concerns as well. i believe that, especially the secaucus islands and the dispute over that, that territorial dispute, is one that concerns as a great deal.
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it is the kind of situation where their territorial claims that could ultimately get out of hand and one country or the other could react in a way that could create an even greater crisis. we urged, of music, both the chinese and the japanese to exercise -- we urge, obviously, both the chinese and the japanese to exercise good judgment. in the pacific, this is a big region. part of our reason to rebalance to the pacific is because we think that, in many ways, our future economic security, our trade relationships, our security relationships will be in that part of the world. and we have great allies in japan and south korea and other countries that are working with us to deal with the challenges.
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there is a common set of challenges here. i said this to the chinese leaders as well. one is their ability to respond to disasters in that part of the world, the ability of these countries to be able to react when a disaster takes place. the ability to deal with the threat of missile proliferation, especially in north korea and the threat that represents to the security of that region. the ability to deal with parsing, the idea -- the it -- with piracy, the ability to deal with cyber threats, the ability to deal with financial issues that we can provide security, the ability to deal with territorial disputes. that is why i thought the allens is an incredible issue we ought
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-- the islands is an incredible issue to support. i told the chinese that it is in your interest to work with other countries to resolve these issues because, if your -- if your interest is in the pacific region that can be peaceful and can prosper in the future, you have to be part of that. it cannot be a china that threatens other countries. it cannot be a china that threatens to go after their territories and create territorial disputes. they have to be part of a family of nations in that region working together in order to ensure peace and prosperity. i sense in the leadership in china that they recognize the and importance of trying to develop that kind of communication. i urge them that we should discuss cyber issues. ayers them that we should discuss defense issues.
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and they said they were willing to engage in those kinds of strategic talks. and i think it will be very important for them to know that the united states, japan, korea and other countries in the part of the world will do everything we have to do to promote security and prosperity and that they should be a part of that, not against it. >> good morning, mr. secretary. but i want to thank you for your lifetime of service and leadership. i am a second year in math and science and foreign service and domestic policy. i am also an army veteran and them currently a member of the maryland national guard. >> good for you. >> in the political crisis and the economic crisis in this country, in your speech, you've talked about "week, the people
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," i would like to bring up the social crisis currently. on average, members of the military commit suicide at the rate of 22 deaths per day. that is a the one death every 65 minutes. i would like to know what the department of defense and lawmakers can do to effectively address that crisis, the social problem. and also please say something about homelessness among veterans. >> yes. it is one of the most tragic issues that we deal with right now in the military. it is the growing rate of suicides that are taking place.
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and in some ways, they reflect the growth of suicide in the general society. part of this, there's no question in my mind that it is related to the stress of war over the last 10 years, the fact that we have deployed people time and time again, time away from their family, time away from the ability to kind of get their feedback on the ground. to be able to repeat themselves into society. soy lot of that, i think, is due to that stress. a lot of it is due to stress in the general society. financial problems, family problems, drinking problems, drug problems. all of that contributes to the growing rate of suicide. i think there is also kind of -- i guess i say this in part like a catholic, but the fact is that people somehow don't associate with suicides as
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being the wrong way to deal with a problem. that is something i was raised to believe. you just don't do that. you just have to confront the challenges you have to confront. but today, there seems to be an attitude that to said are a way out and they -- -- that suicides are a way out and they are not. they are not current -- they are not. we have to build a support system for those in the service. we have to build greater abilities and deal with mental- health issues so that we understand that. we have to have better professionals who can identify those problems and provide assistance. frankly, we also need to educate the force. you have to have peers who are working alongside of you who can identify those problems. someone looks like they have problems, the they are having a difficult time, to identify that
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and make sure that that person gets the help they need. it is like everything else. all of us need to be aware -- all of us need to be a part of the answer to be able to make sure that doesn't happen. but this is something that -- there is no silver bullet. there is no silver bullet here. i wish there was. it means we have to operate on every front to do with this. we have to be able to make sure that we deployed people in a rational basis so they are deployed into a combat area, but then have an amount of time that they can get their lives back together again. and do it rationally. that has to be done. we have to provide the support system, the health care system, be able to educate the force, to understand and to recognize those kinds of problems. all of that needs to be done if we're to address this.
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most importantly, i think we just have to convey a message to those men and women in uniform that we treasure those who are willing to put their life on the line. we will not take them for granted. that is a message we have to get to them. >> thank you, mr. secretary. >> ok. is that it? thank you all very much. [applause] >> i thank you for coming and i have won favor to ask him if you could remain seated until you get an announcement to disperse, we would appreciate it. thank you very much for coming. [applause]
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>> thursday, leon panetta and joint chiefs chairman general dempsey testify on the attack on the u.s. consulate in benhazi, libya. we will be live from the senate armed services committee starting 10:00 a.m. pervez letter, john berman and -- starting at 10:00 a.m.. later, john brennan is expected to face questions on the cia drone program. it starts at 2:30 p.m. eastern also here on c-span. >> if you go to most american history textbooks, i would almost make you a bet, if you go to the back of the textbooks you had in high school -- nothing you could take the of all my bet -- but in american history textbooks in high school comedy go to the index, you will find no mention of eugenics and.
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if you go to your biology books in high school, you will find no mention of the word eugenics. i just looked at the biology the assigned for most of the courses assign your for intro by a courses at montana state university. break textbooks. but i did not see any mention of eugenics. it is as if, because we, being scientists, no longer believe in eugenics, when a longer have to think about it. because we know eugenics was so awful, we can somehow pretend that it was not part of american culture pierre >> eugenics and early 20th-century america. 8:00 a.m. -- 8:00 p.m. eastern on saturday on c-span 3. >> tuesday, president obama announced a plan to delay the scheduled spending cuts called sequestration. they began to take effect next
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month unless the white house and the congress agreed on their way to cut the federal deficit. this is 30 minutes. >> yesterday, the president give us a proposal that cuts defense spending once again. it has $500 billion in new taxes and also cuts in domestic spending. it is irresponsible, unacceptable. it leaves their troops and our economy and ready to face the challenges of the future. when i went to the steering committee to apply for this job, i explained to them the way i saw the jobless to make sure that our troops, those who we
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sent into harm's way would have everything they needed to carry out their missions and return home safely. everything in the way resources, training, leadership, these things are very important. and i look at what is happening with these cuts that we have seen the last couple of years and it is just irresponsible that the commander in chief, his main job should be the same that i look at as my job, only he should be looking out for the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines that he sent into harm's way. he should not send them with anything less than the told that they need. and to be stepping up and continuing to cut -- i visited with their top leaders and they have told me that we have gone past cutting the fat.
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we have gone past cutting -- we are into the bone. where they will have to cut will reduce the ability to train and equip these people properly. that will start costing lives. it is time for the president to face up to what the real responsibility is, with the real problem is, and that is to look at mandatory spending. anyway, i am happy to be here today. we have a proposal. i am happy to join the senators. we're putting forth a bill that will give us some breathing room on the sequestration and pays for all the sequestration for the rest of this year. it gives us time to think about it. it pays for it by having a reduction in the general
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research of the next 30 years. so it is as painless as possible to protect our troops. with that, i am happy to introduce senator in half -- senator enhofe. >> we said that we would projecting losses of $780 billion over the next thing years. we said this could not have happened. i have always enjoyed our close relationship and we continue now in a different forum. and me just mention a couple of things. for 14 months, we have called on president to recognize the sequestration. people don't realize how bad it could really be. it was two years ago when
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senator john kyl and senator [indiscernible] got together with the house committee and looked at what we would be a wanted do about it. that was the beginning of all this. unfortunately, when the president can have with the plan-yeah, i saw the plan. i saw the 25% -- with the planned yesterday, i saw the plan. i saw the 25% term just this morning, i think it was in the politico press report, the president has instructed his budget office to restrict the release of information on the impact of sequestration so there is not momentum in congress to fix it. this has deteriorated some of the members of the appropriations committee into may be having hearings. there is no way to delay
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sequestration to the end of the year. there is a way not to do it. that is what this is all about today. this is a way of doing it without cutting defense is, without cutting domestics, and without raising taxes. if the sequester is allowed to take place and a continuing resolution is not fixed, the department of defense stands to lose billions of dollars. the vice chairman of the joint chiefs said, "there could be for the first time in his career instances where the bay at -- may be asked to respond to the crisis and we may not be able to do it." where i am really pleased to the committee that we have and the minority in the senate, we have a lot of talent there. we will use all of that talent, we have people who are heading
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up are six committees, senators sessions, mccain, gramm, a yacht, and others on the committee. it has been my strategy in the past use this town to make sure they are the ones who will be driving it. it will not be a one-man show. senator ayott is the one who has been driving this so far. i would like her to come forward with this, the bill, which will be ayott bill in the senate and explain what we will be doing with that. kelly? >> thank you, senator enohofe. i want to for thank senator mckeon and my colleagues senators mccain and gramm. we traveled run the country about this-you're a year ago and the impact on our national security -- about this last
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year, a year ago, and talk about the impact on our national security. here is where we are. we know, based even from seeing our secretary of defense, from the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, this weekend, on the sunday shows, what the impact of sequestration will be to our national defense. i guess i would ask everyone here -- do we think we're safer around the world around now with iran marching for nuclear- weapons capability? with the assaults and all of the 60,000 people who have been married -- have been murdered in syria? with the weapons that we have seen from the gaddafi machine that has ended up in algeria? we can go on and on about the challenges we face. let's not forget that we're still in war with our troops that we recently visited in
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afghanistan. so our national security challenges remain great and we have already reduced defense spending $487 billion. it is time for the commander-in- chief. it is his foremost responsibility to keep the american people safe and stuff sequestration. our defense should not be used as a bargaining chip because of other policy aspirations that people want to accomplish. we have introduced this bill that is similar to the one that we introduced last year, the chairman mckeon introduced in the house, that addresses sequestration for defense and non-defense through the end of the fiscal year in september without raising taxes, and essentially taking the president's own fiscal commission proposal from the symbols -- from the simpson- bowles, and we also have the
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congressional pay freeze as well to pay for this. yesterday, we heard with the president had to say. his proposal is unacceptable. it is insufficient. i agree with chairman mckeon on this. everything we have heard from this president seems to begin and end with tax increases. despite the fact that we have already given $600 billion in additional revenue just for a few months fix, he also wants more on that and more cuts to our defense. even the his own secretary of defense said, if we don't address the sequestration, we will be shooting ourselves in the head. we will be hauling out our military. we will be substantially reducing our naval fleets, our armed forces at a dangerous time in the world. so i hope that my colleagues across both sides of the aisle will join in this common-sense effort. it gives us the opportunity to work out the bigger issue of fiscal issues now that the senate democrats said they're willing to do a budget.
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i also serve on the budget committee. this bill makes sense. i hope it is passed quickly. let's put where we are now. we have the president of the united states who said, during the campaign, this will not happen, when he talked about sequestration. here we are. his administration rewrote along that some people would not be worn on the impact on it. now he wants to use it to increase more taxes when we have a common-sense proposals right here from his own fiscal commission that we could pass to get us through september and it really makes sense so we don't undermine our national security for generations as our secretary of defense has said. i thank my colleagues for being here. it is my honor to introduce senator john mccain, who needs
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no introduction. >> but he always appreciate it. [laughter] i thank senator enhofe for his attention tot his issue. he pointed out the devastating effect of sequestration. if it is implemented, it will cut every ship, truck, a tank, research and development across the board. the secretary of defense panetta, a man that i admire greatly, called sequestration a meat ax approach. i think it is important to note, according to one economic analysis, it costs a loss of $350 in full-time direct jobs, 650,000 indirect job losses. that is a lot of jobs.
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in these difficult times. secretary panetta said, "this has become a very serious threat to our national security." para chairman of the joint chiefs of staff says the same thing. in the late 1970's, after the vietnam war, the chief of staff testified before congress that we had a "hollow army," which then caused the attention of the american people and one of the reasons why ronald reagan was elected to be president of the united states, because of our rapid decline in national defense that took place previously. we have seen this movie before and we live in a more dangerous world than any i can remember since the end of the cold war. this is the wrong time for sequestration to take place.
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we should be able to sit down together and resolve this without, again, asking the american people to have their taxes increased. i think you. next is the lawyer from south carolina, senator gramm. >> we will send -- we will spend $46 trillion over the next decade. the question is can we reduce spending by $1.20 trillion without raising taxes and destroying the defense department? the answer is yes, if we want to. the president has a proposal. i don't think it does sound, but let's vote on it. to harry reid, the house, it has decided on sequestration the past year we have done nothing in the senate crime -- in the
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senate. we are not doing anything in the senate. so, harry, please take the president's proposal or come up with one of your own. put it on the floor and let's start voting. we have our fingerprint as republicans on this sequestration idea. thats the president's idea we come as the republican party agreed to it. we got in this mess together and we will have to get out together. mr. president, helped lead us. all like anyone else on this stage, you are the commander-in- chief. do you really want your legacy to be that you let the american congress into a deal that would destroy the military at the time it would need it the most?
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do you want to pivot to asia? how do you do that with 232 ships? when about iran acquiring nuclear capabilities? have you modernize the f-16 and the f-18? had you go deep into iran without the f-22 and the at-35 coming into being? our enemy would love this to happen here i'm sure iran is very supportive of sequestration. i am sure that al qaeda training camps all over the world would be pleased with the fact that sequestration would gut the cia and the intelligence platforms we have to follow them around. it is not just about planes and the smallest airforce as in the history of the country, the smallest navy since 1915, the smallest farms since 1940. it is about the cia. it is their intelligence
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gathering capabilities. it is also about public education. it is about non-defense matters. so i am hopeful that we can finally start voting in the senate rather than just complaining about what the house does. to the president, we bear responsibility as republicans for allowing this to happen. lead us to a better solution. if you do not, mr. president, he will go down in history in my view is one of the most irresponsible commanders in chief in the history of the country for what you have done, mr. president, that you allow the finest military in history of the world to deteriorate at a time that we needed it the most. let's not let that happen. >> let me just add or emphasize three quick points. one is, reducing civilians by
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attrition is a good idea, even at dod. i would remind you that yesterday, the recently departed secretary for policy argued in the washington post that we needed to reduce civilians at dod as a way of improving efficiency within the pentagon. i would say that applies to all the other agencies as well. secondly, most of the concern about sequestration is focused on readiness and training, which is absolutely true. if you talk to the lawyers that work with the defense contractors, they think they will have a field day care and some had testimony last year that the legal hassles emanating from sequestration may eat up a lot of their savings. but beyond that, there are a lot of dangerous places in the world. and what we do is try to develop capability to deal with the
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unknowable contingencies of what could happen at a place like syria or iran or north korea. with less money, you can prepare for future contingencies. the point is that it does not just finance -- not just readiness. it hurts us in the real world today. there are lots of options to deal with this. as was mentioned, the house passed bills twice last year to substitute sequestration's savings for other more targeted savings so that you save this amount of money, you're still fiscally responsible, but you don't get defense and these domestic programs as well. today, we have another proposal out there on the table. i suspect there may be another one or two in the next few days. anybody who has been around washington in the past two months knows that, if anyone of us comes and says that the answer to this is taxes, they have not been living in the real
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world after we -- after what we have been through the last two months. it is time to get off the campaign trail mta commander. my colleague mike turner -- off the campaign trail and to be a commander. a colleague mike turner. >> the president has gambled with their national security with sequestration and it is a losing bet. to give some perspective, the defense budget is slightly less than 18% of all of our spending. yet sequestration would have 50% of the cuts falling on defense spending. it falls on 18% of our overall budget. the president has now made a proposal that includes taxes, but also 50% of the sequestration cuts to fall on defense. he said that the sequestered cuts would not happen. he did not say that half of the sequestration cuts would not
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happen. he said sequestration would not happen. so today we would free proposal that would have half of the cuts. this has been a problem that has been around for over a year. and in this late hour, they come together with a proposal that he knows would not be in our coffers in time to offset the overall expenses that are needed in order to address the issue of sequestration. the bill that we're here for today is not have a solution is a whole solution. and this is not half -- is not half of a solution. it is a whole solution. as we look at the fact that the world is not becoming a safer
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place, these cuts are irresponsible. this bill allows us to restore the spending and make sure that our national security is protected and to look further into our budget to responsibly reduce overall spending. thank you. >> questions? >> we had talked with you this morning about some of the concerns that even some rank- and-file republicans were having about this bill. some of them are willing to endure the sequestered just to get cuts. why -- are they willing to cover some in defense? what do you say to your fellow republicans? >> we will have a hearing next week, all of the joint
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chiefs. i think they will tell us that we are really in dire straits. they have said things from we have had meetings on this. we have had speeches, a lot of talk. and there is a waiting for the grand scheme of things that will fix everything. the president yesterday opted for a short-term solution. we just don't think it is a viable solution. it is not one that can pass. we think the solution we're presenting here today is certifiable and will fix much of the problem that the chiefs are having to deal with. as has already been said, we have already cut $487 billion out of defense. the $500 billion of additional sequestration and the way things are cut even if -- cut evenly with no thought or planning is disastrous. and the commander-in-chief ought to step up and face the fact
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that he is the commander-in- chief. fine, show us. provide some real leadership. this quest to continually raise taxes is not going anywhere. we have already done that. now we are asking for real leadership for a real solution. >> are some of your republican colleagues willing to endure these cuts? there are plenty of things to fight about. i think some of the differences i have with some of my republican friends is that we're not that far apart. we all want to fix the deficit problem. there is no question. but i think, when they have a chance to look at this bill and understand what we're really facing, i don't think we will have a problem. >> how is this different from the proposal from a year ago? >> did we have a pay freeze a
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year ago? [laughter] >> it is different. the house had the attrition of the workforce that is in this component. we had a combination -- instead of every three positions that came open, only filling line. we had two. and a combination of overall across the federal government over a year. this is different here it combines both so we're on the same page. and we have the house proposal on nutrition and we added congressional pay freeze on it. >> what makes you think this time around that the senate majority leader will take up this proposal? >> i would certainly defer to the chairman, but there is a real urgency here. one of the reasons that the president and the administration, during this campaign, didn't want the actual warrant act, the law
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that requires to notify workers that they may be laid off to go into effect is because they knew that someone's people understood the real implications of sequestration, that there would be public outcry. but here we are. a think we're in a different place. people understand that there are grave implications to this. i hope that the leadership would move forward with a very legitimate proposal that addresses this issue at least to the end of this fiscal year. >> do you feel comfortable tomorrow that you will have a vote on former senator table? >> i don't know. i want to say this about the
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question before last, on how does this differ from last year. last year, they were not desperate. last year, we were not talking about $487 billion. last year, we were not talking about the president's own secretary of defense saying that this is devastating and disarming america. i think people are aware that this president has done everything he can to hide from the people the devastating effects of sequestration >> but as -- affects of sequestration. >> excuse me -- >> there is information. i'm not exactly sure what they will be done with that hearing. >> providing more flexibility? >> providing flexibility would
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be a last-ditch effort. this bill is one that will solve the problem. my introduction of that was merely to get the chiefs to sit down and analyze just how devastating this will be and what we could do with the same thought in mind to make adjustments to make it less devastating than it will be. that is the difference. we have already talked to the chiefs. they are working right now. it is best to accomplish this first. >> they have said that there has to be a component of closing tax loopholes. you're saying that this situation is desperate is it a desperate enough that you're willing to sit down? >> it is not desperate enough you can start raising taxes when you can do it without raising taxes. that is why your -- why we're here today. >> will have to have a bipartisan negotiation if you're
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not willing to entertain what they want. they run the white house. >> that is right. they run the white house. but that is not the majority of america. the american people did not say that we are not taxed enough. >> if we had those in this place, we might find common ground. how about this as an idea care go to the president and asked him, during the campaign he promised this would not happen. if i get elected president, i will do sequestration in half. this is a big deal in virginia. this is a big deal in other states. so here we are, after the election. he didn't tell us i will raise taxes three times. $1.20 trillion in tax increases for obamacare. $600 billion in tax increases to
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avoid the fiscal cliff. and now you want to raise taxes yet again. how about the idea of trying to find some spending cuts that do not support the military when you have $460 billion to choose from over the next decade. no more backroom deals. but the president's proposal on the senate floor and see how many senate democrats to comfortable raising taxes yet again. and to my republican colleagues. after this hearing, if you feel comfortable with cutting the government this way, then you have lost your way as much as the president. what happened to the party of ronald reagan who said the number one goal of the federal government and the federal government's responsibility above all others is to fund the department of defense? what happened to that party? i intend to get the party back. i intend to fight for the party of ronald reagan.
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and we will explain to republicans and democrats what happens. and we will challenge our republican and democratic colleagues not to raise taxes every time we have a problem because there is a better way. economic growth is down. unemployment is up. let's start cutting spending. >> bring a bill to the floor then. the house has acted twice. the house has acted twice to avoid sequestration. during the president's proposal fourth. as go to conference and resolve it. so far, we have seen no indication that the majority leader of the senate will bring this to the floor of the senate. let's go to work for a change. >> have you spoken with democrats about this proposal? >> sure, we have. many of them say, yes, let's go
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to the floor. that is what we're supposed to do. they may not agree with this proposal, but a lot of the democrats i talk to are aware of how devastating impact will be the sequestration. the path we are in right now is that the congress will not act in the next 30 days. >> we will take one more and we have to wrap this up. the offset number is $85 billion. through september. yes, from the combination of congressional -- the rest is through the president's fiscal commission. we have to wrap this up >> let me say one more thing about the question about what has changed. up until december, the joint chiefs were commanded to not plan for sequestration. now they have had time to look at it and we will hear next week some very specific things
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that they told me in the last couple of days that, when people hear those things, when the call comes, the me not be able to respond to these emergencies. and when the american people find that out, there will be some real change. thank you. >> thank you. host[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> thursday, leon panetta and general martin dempsey testify about the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. it will be live from the senate armed services committee starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span 2 and later, john brennan and the president stressed to be cia director testifies before the senate
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intelligence committee. is expected to face questions on the cia drone program. that starts at 2:30 p.m. eastern also here on c-span. >> there is no prescription or will model or cookbook for being first lady. and if you look back at the lives of martha washington or a abigail adams or dolly madison or edith wilson or eleanor roosevelt for best german or medium eisenhower, you can see that each woman has defined the role in a way that is true to herself, how she can help her husband take care of her family, make her contribution to our nation. >> c-span posner original series, "first lady, influence and a maid," their influence on the president over 44 administrations, produced with
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the white house historical association. season one begins presidents' day figure 18th at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. >> john boehner told reporters wednesday that he would oppose a delay in automatic budget cuts without spending cuts and reforms. he was responding to president obama's call for a short-term deficit reduction package that combines spending cuts with tax revenues to delay the sequester. this is 10 minutes. >> morning, everyone. you know how much missed all of you last week. the number one priority for the member -- for the american people is creating jobs and getting spending under control. even though we are a minority
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party here in washington, the republicans have made every effort to address their concerns -- the concerns of the american people. less than two years ago, president obama said, all family, all of this rising debt will cost us jobs and damage our economy. unfortunately, the senate democrats have done almost nothing to address our long-term debt problems. -a, the president warned of grave economic consequences if the sequester were to go -- yesterday, the president warned of grave economic consequences if the sequester were to go into effect. but he suggested and insisted upon in august of 2011 -- he did not tell us when we might see his budget, which is again late, and how he would address the sequestered in his budget. all of this under as base scores the efforts of republican
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efforts to push -- underscores the efforts of republicans to push this issue and to take the spending problems here say. washington desperately needs some adult leadership. that is why republicans have twice voted to replace the presence sequester with common sense cuts and reforms that protect our national defense. that is why republicans have passed budgets in each of the last two years. and we will pass another one here in the coming weeks. we believe there's a better way to lower the deficit. but americans do not support sacrificing real spending cuts for more tax hikes. the president's sequester should be replaced with spending cuts reforms that put us on a path that would balance the budget over next 10 years. the american people believe that the tax question have -- tax
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question has been settled. they know the president called for a balanced approach to the debt, a combination of revenues and spending cuts. and they know that he has done his revenue. the american people do not believe -- he has gotten his revenue. the american people do not believe that he will not get more revenue to lower the debt. the president does not believe we have a spending problem care he genuinely believes the government's spending causes economic growth. if that weren't true, the economy would be thriving. small businesses are struggling. middle-class families, those that are lucky enough to have a job, are living paycheck to paycheck. and president obama just insisted on raising their taxes.
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americans know that another tax cut won't help them. what they want is spending under control so the economy can grow and they have opportunities again. democrats say we should replace the president's sequester with revenue increases or delay it. republicans say we should replace with responsible reforms that will help us on a path that will balance the budget for the next 10 years. the republicans may not be the majority party here and washington, but the majority of the american people agree with us on this. we will stand with the american people. >> there are a number of initiatives that the senate is moving ahead. you think it will be a problem for democrats to get behind some of these proposals? you have had certain issues with certain bills.
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it will be tough for harry reid and the senate's. these are issues that will come over here at some point. don't you think it will hold up the process if he is having trouble on these issues? >> the process was designed to be inefficient and difficult so that, if congress were able to move a bill through both houses, they could agree upon a bill, it would actually become law. at the start of every session, there is always a number of issues that carry from the prior session. frankly, there's a lot of scar tissue that carries over with a lot of these bills. it is up to congress to figure out where the common ground is. >> what does this mean for your party politically if the sequestered goes through? >> tuolumne make clear -- i don't like the suit -- let me
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make clear -- i don't like the sequester. it will lighbe like taking a met ax. the president did not want to have to deal with the debt limit again before his reelection. it was the president and senate democrats committed with us to get an outcome from the super committee. but when the super committee could not give an outcome, the sequester would go into effect. we know what the menu of options are. cut the reforms that we can put in place, that will put this into a sound fiscal path, help investors and business people in america understand where it is that the government is going, being more responsible about our debt, and those cuts and reforms ought to be put in place.
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we passed a bill twice to replace the sequestered. it is time for the president and the senate democrats to do the same. >> the senate last year passed bipartisan reform and the house has not acted yet. what do you think that means in this congress? >> and now they're interested in moving a postal reform bill. i know there are looking to have bipartisan conversations on how to do this. i would hope that the congress would act in a timely fashion. >> why has the postal service lost [indiscernible] last year. the congress could have done something. why haven't they?
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>> trying to act in this postal area is pretty difficult. i a understand where the coastal commission is coming from. they are in charge with maintaining the post office. yet the congress, in its wisdom, has tied their hands every which way in order for them to actually run the post office in a revenue neutral way. so congress needs to act. there is no question about that. and i hope it will act soon. >> why did you make of the speech at the american enterprise institute yesterday about the republican future? >> i think he did a very nice job yesterday, pointing out why there's an awful lot of discussion about the deficit and the debt and long-term fiscal situation. there are other issues that republicans care about >> we
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have seen the unclassified memo on what the white house uses for [indiscernible] are you comfortable with any president of the united states unilaterally choosing, in certain cases, to kill american citizens in an extrajudicial fashion? >> chairman rogers put out a statement yesterday. i agree with what he said. >> you said that obama got his revenues. but in december, you offered a trillion dollars in revenue. the class -- the fiscal cliff the deal got $600 billion.
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if obama took care last offer, $1 trillion, could that passed the house? >> knows what would happen today. but the fact is that the trillion dollars in spending cuts and reforms that were on the table, the president never agreed to. and the trillions that i put on the table was not enough for the president. the republicans have active. it is time for the senate democrats and the president to act as well. >> mr. kantor said the pathway to sedition ship for immigrants brought as minors, d you agree with that? >> there is a lot of bipartisan work going on here in the house and in the senate. i want to do everything i can to foster this continuing conversation in a bipartisan
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fashion to deal with what is a very difficult issue in our country. it is certainly worthy of consideration. >> you talked about how you do like the sequestered. this morning, secretary panetta said it would cause a serious crisis in a decade. you know that the senate would not take a bill. why are there no bipartisan talks? why is it up to the senate democrats if you don't like it? >> we have acted. if they want to act and pass the bill, we can agree to it or maybe we could get a conference. but i am more than willing to work with my senate colleagues on the plan that will have cuts and reforms to put us on a path to balance the budget in 10 years. >> [indiscernible]
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>> i am taking a deep breath. [laughter] we have until the end of the year. it was not like the congress and the president did not know for two years that all the tax rates would go up on the american people on january 1. the house passed a bill in 2011. it passed another bill in 2012 that would expand all of the tax cuts. instead, we got down to little league, january 1, before the congress acts. in that bill, they decided to move the sequester out a couple months. and now the president is talking about moving the sequestered out a couple months more. we got the debt limit at of the way so we were not to jeopardize in the full faith and credit of the united states government. at some point, washington has to deal with its pending problem.
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i have watched them kick the can down the road for the 22 years i have been year. i have had enough of it. it is time to act. >> coming up tonight on c-span, postmaster general patrick donna hope -- patrick don hahoe. republican members of the armed services committee offer a proposal to avoid budget cuts. >> thursday, education secretary ernie duncan testified on state waivers in the no child left
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behind program current you can see it live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 3. >> what i have discovered as i have gotten older and more mature is the worst strategy is to make that your primary goal. if you make happen is what you are striving for, you will not achieve it. you will be narcissistic and self involved, caring about your own pleasures and your own satisfactions in life as your paramount goal. what i found is happiness is best found as a byproduct of other things. it is a byproduct of meaningful work and family and friends and good health and love and care. we get happiness not by aiming directly for it, but by
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throwing ourselves into projects and involving ourselves in trying to have integrity and trying to be a good person. >> john mackey examines how the inherent could have business and capitalism will lead to a better world. find more booktv online. postmaster general patrick donahue announced the postal service will end saturday deliveries. package delivery services would continue six days a week. this news conference from the postal service headquarters in washington is 35 minutes. >> good morning everybody. thank you for joining us. today, we're going to be making
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an announcement about an important change to our national delivery schedule. i think anyone who has followed the postal service over the past couple of years know that we have been consistently making changes to our delivery schedule. it is an important part of our strategy returning back to financial stability and it is absolutely necessary to make that move. before i get into the details of the announcement, i would like to spend a couple of minutes discussing the financial reasons for this scheduled delivery change. since 2008, we have seen a steady decline in the use of first class mail. it is our most profitable product and generates the most revenue. people pay their bills online, simple, easy and free.
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on the other hand, people do -- still like to receive hard copy statements and bills and the fact that businesses continue to send mail to the homes and that's been pretty stable over the past few years, show people do value the mail that they receive. however, they do like to make their payments online and put a tremendous financial pressure on the postal service. the biggest issue we face is whether we can adapt to these pressures in the marketplace. the laws do not provide a lot of flexibility to adapt. and this results in a major imbalance between costs and revenue. this past year, the postal service posted a financial loss of $15.9 billion. by any measure that is unsustainable and it's unacceptable. of the $15.9 billion loss, $11.1 billion was due to the amount we are obligated to pay the treasure to fund retiree health benefits. we had to default on those payments because we did not have
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the funds. and you know the postal service is expected to operate like a business. we generate all of our revenue from the sale of postage. we take no tax dollars. we don't have the ability to reduce costs in a way a private business would. and we are at the end of our borrowing authority. to give some perspective of our liquid situation, a typical large organization would either have cash on hand or quick borrowing ability. in october, the postal service had less than four days of cash on hand. that's a very scary situation and no situation that a business should be in. and this is why we have taken aggressive steps to reduce our costs and why we have been so
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vocal about seeking postal reform legislation. we faced a major hurdle to return to profitability and long-term stability. we need to generate $20 billion in cost reductions and revenue increases to close the budget gap and be able to repay our debt, both close the gap and repay the debt. and this is why the board of governors has directed us to take every necessary step to reduce costs and conserve cash necessary to continue our operations. doinghat we have been consistently over the last couple of years. and we will be accelerating those efforts moving forward. since 2006, we made tremendous strides in cost reductions. we have reduced the size of our work force by 193,000 people.
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we have done it in a very orderly process through attrition, not through layoffs. and we reduced our annual cost basis by $15 billion. and how did we do that? we consolidated over 200 mail processing facilities, eliminated 21,000 delivery routes, substantially reduced administrative costs and right now we are reducing hours in over 9,000 post offices across the country. i cannot think of another
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organization either public or private that can claim that comparable level of cost reduction. we have accomplished these cost reductions while continuing to achieve very high levels of service performance and yet with even these significant cost reductions, we still have a large budget gap to fill. and so today, we are announcing that we are moving forward with a change to our national delivery schedule. the new delivery schedule will result in about a $2 billion annual cost reduction and it's an important part of our return to profitability and financial stability. beginning the week of august 5, this year, the postal service delivery schedule will consist of six days of package delivery and five days of mail delivery. this is a new approach for the postal service. over the past few years, we proposed moving to a five-day schedule for both mail and packages but our new approach is based on a great deal of customer input we have heard over the course of six, seven months.
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and strong demand for package delivery and enables the postal service to achieve significant cost reductions. what we are announcing today is not complicated. package delivery will continue monday through saturday and no changes in terms of post office hours. we will be open saturday. we will continue to deliver mail to post office boxes on saturday, which is very important for a number of businesses. mail delivery will occur monday through friday and we will not deliver nor collect mail on saturday. our decision to maintain
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saturday package service is driven by a number of factors. we have taken a hard look at the future of package delivery and think there is a he very strong growth over this coming decade. as consumers increasingly use and rely on delivery services especially with the rice of e- commerce, we can play an increasingly vital role as the provider of choice and be a driver of growth opportunities for american business. americans mailing habits are changing and so are the shipping habits. people order goods online and e-commerce will drive those habits into the future. we have seen our package growth grow steadily and we expect this trend to continue. so, what kind of reaction do we expect to this announcement?
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people will say this is a responsible decision. it makes common sense. last several years, we have seen surveys conducted about a potential shift in delivery from -- in both packages and mail and consistently, we have seen the same result and this is true when the questions are asked a little bit differently. 70% of americans have consistently said they would support five-day schedule for mail and delivery for packages given the financial condition of the postal service. we have not done a poll right
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now to get an idea of this new approach, the six-day package delivery, but we expect that 70% number to jump higher once people become familiar with our new plan. our move is as a result of research and study. two years ago the service put together a detailed plan to implement a five-day delivery schedule and looked at the impacts and we have a strong operational framework. an important announcement is to timing. we made a commitment to residential customers to provide six-month notice to any delivery change and ensure that mailers have adequate time to adjust to schedules and begin communicating with our employees, our unions and management associations about these changes. many of our employees will be affected as we change to this new delivery schedule and we want to give our employees plenty of time to consider and plan for these changes. we pride ourselves on being a very responsible employer and make every effort to ensure that our employees receive good information. as you might imagine, most of the projected $2 billion in cost savings will occur as a result of a more efficient network and reduction in size of our work force. we are projecting that we will be able to reduce about 45 million work hours making these
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changes and the key areas of cost reduction will be saturday mail delivery, saturday mail processing and transportation. the postal service has a great track record of managing through major operational changes. and we believe that we can accomplish our work force goals through attrition and will be working with our unions and management associations. in terms of timing, we will publish detailed operational plans for our business mailers in march, next month, and will be conducting a number of educational efforts to make sure we reach all business customers. as we get closer to the delivery scheduled change in in august, we will be publishing information in post offices, putting it online and other customer contact to make sure our residential customers know. let me conclude with a couple of thoughts. this announcement today is just one part of a much larger strategy to return the postal service to long-term financial stability. the plans saves $2 billion annually, that we have a $20 billion gap to close. we are striving to raise revenues, reduce costs and gain efficiencies throughout the entire organization and making this change to our delivery schedule is a big-ticket item and simply too big of a cost savings to ignore. in fact, i would strongly argue it would be irresponsible for the postal service not to pursue this course. second, we are implementing this approach to improve our overall business performance. there is a strong and growing demand for our package service and we need to meet that over the coming decade and that's why we are continuing to maintain six days of package delivery. our five-day mail delivery reflects the changing market demand and we are not in a financial position where we can continue to maintain six-day delivery. we are in a situation where we
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are obligated to make tough choices and decisions and we are committed to keep the costs of mail as affordable as possible and our new delivery schedule helps us to reduce some of the pressure on the overall finances. let me finish where i started. our financial condition is urgent. we continue to require basic reforms to our business model and continue to encourage congress to look at our comprehensive plan. we need to operate with greater flexibility so we can adapt quickly to the changing marketplace. our announcement today is a step in that direction. thank you very much. i'd be more than happy to answer your questions but i'm going to answer the first question, is this legal?
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it is. the way the law is set right now with the continuing resolution that we can make this change. the good news is, the continuing resolution that governance the postal service that way expires on the 27th of march, so there's plenty in time in there if there is some disagreement, we can get that resolved and encourage congress to take any language out to stop us from moving to this five-day mail schedule. our customers said do the right thing and do not become a burden to taxpayers and our customers said we want packages on saturday and this is the right solution for the business and for our customers. questions? >> are you saying there is a loophole in the continuing resolution that is allowing you to do this when -- i mean -- i don't know for how long congress has had the language in their appropriations bill that says you have to do six-day service. i want to ask you about that. second thing is, why didn't you do this before if you were able to unilaterally do it? and third thing is, congress has not shown a willingness to go to five-day service for all kinds of reasons. so how do you deal with the
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political fallout or is this just a bluff to get congress to pass legislation that you guys have been very desperately pressing them to pass? >> we feel very strongly that our customers want us to do the right thing. and when you look at the volume of mail that we have lost over the course of the last three or four years, it's substantial. we have lost in just single- piece volume, 30 billion pieces. if you take that times the 46- cent stamp, that is $14 billion just that product alone. you have to be responsible. we don't take tax money. and i think we can work positively with congress to make these changes. last year, there was a lot of concern about post offices. we came up with a win-win after listening to our customers. they said keep it open, we'll take reduced dollars and saves us money and meets the customers' needs. we feel the same way.
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we want to work with congress. we are on good footing with us. this is not a hair splitter loophole kind of approach. it's the right thing to do. if there is a disagreement, there is like five or six weeks before the c.r. expires, let's work the language out, get it off the rules and move ahead. >> you say the c.r. has language in it that does not contain language -- >> our interpretation of the c.r., the language does not bind us to five-day and that's where we are. >> ron. lisa? >> angela. >> angela, sorry. >> you said 45 million work hours, what does that equate in terms of the number of jobs and is this layoffs or do it through attrition?
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>> it equates to 22,500 jobs. right now, the postal service, we run in excess of 10% overtime, almost 12% and we have not hired and using attrition to take advantage of people leaving without having to resort to layoffs. by eliminating overtime and looking at some flexibility we have with the part-time work force and potentially working with the unions on some this will help. since the year 2000, the postal service has reduced approximately 306,000 jobs, people, new layoffs. we do not want to lay off. we are a responsible employer. yes, sir? >> just to follow up on her
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question, nuts and bolts, 22,500 jobs, how many people get laid off or bought out when? and the second question is in the back of your folder here, you have daily revenue and daily out-go and the revenue exceeds the out-go. so -- >> the revenue doesn't exceed the out-go. $15.9 billion last year. >> not according to your own handout. my question is, where's the difference? >> let's talk about the jobs again. by taking advantage of natural attrition in our system, we have a lot of people leave. the postal service, interestingly enough, is a fairly old organization from a people's standpoint. our average age is 54 years olds. and it's easier to have a person work on overtime or replace them with a noncareer flexible employee. and what happens is as we make these changes in august, we will have worked up to that point. we have six months to work with
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mailers and our unions and management associations and our customers to get everything into place. we closed 2,200 post alpha silts and eliminated routes, people haven't noticed. we are good about doing these things. we need to move ahead with the plans we have. >> "usa today." what kind of impact will this have on delivery times? will we still be getting mail in two days and three days elsewhere in the country? and the second question is, is there any historical experience with this? has the post office always delivered mail six days a week? >> i'm going to tell you a story, too. from a network standpoint, no change. the network will continue to run. i didn't want to get into the details here, where we accept mail in the system on saturday and sunday, customers will have that opportunity. so no changes.
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if you put something in the mail on friday that would have normally been delivered saturday it will be delivered on monday. if it is going across the country, it will be delivered monday or tuesday. no changes. we have some history. the postal services has been delivering mail since 1860's. one time, probably a few people in the audience where they remember we delivered mail two times a day. i have an uncle who was a letter carrier who said, everyone was worried when we delivered mail two times a day and an italian newspaper and made -- the day after they made the change, he said, i said to the guy, sorry i couldn't deliver the newspaper, he said i don't read italian any way. the big changes we have made in our system over the years, people accept.
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they understand that. they understand that when you lose the first class volume that we have seen, you can't make ends meet from a financial standpoint. the choice is either change some of the service or raise prices and people don't want prices raised. so we'll make the changes in services. >> i just want to go back to talking about the language in the c.r. that you think gives you the authority to do this. could you talk a little bit
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more specifically about that, because the c.r. simply funds at the last fiscal year's levels. doesn't that imply that the language is still there? >> from a high level explanation is the way we interpret it. the c.r. talks about appropriations that occur in the current year. the way that we receive money from any c.r. or any appropriations bill, it's for services already provideded. there is no appropriation that runs the postal service. all congress does is reimburse us for money that has already been spent. and that language is different within the c.r. we have no interest in like trying to catch congress in a loophole. that's not our interest. we want to work with congress to do the right thing. right now, the opportunity exists from our estimate to make the changes on our own and if there's an argument about it, that's ok. we have six or seven weeks to change the language so when the next c.r. or the appropriation
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bill is done, our language is out of it and we continue on with the responsible course of action that we are proposing. yes. >> "wall street journal." what will your reaction be if the next appropriation bill there is language that says we bar you from making this change? what will your reaction be? >> part of my job is to make a very clear and consist argument in front of congress and in front of the administration that we're doing the right thing and with our business plan, we think we have done that. we have a $20 billion gap that needs to get resolved. this needs to get resolved from a legislative stand point. if you think about it, we are on the look for $5.5 billion funding bill for the future of retiree health benefits. those things need to be resolved. we want to work with congress on things we don't have control over. i think congress will be very responsible and as we have seen shes the win-win with the small post offices, everybody knows this is the right way to go. customers have said we don't want the postal service to be a burden to taxpayers and we aren't going in that direction. >> what if customers don't accept this decision. you have done this since your inception? what if they protest?
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a couple of months back, you guys reversed your decision to close post offices. would you reverse this decision if customers protest? >> we have done a lot of leg work with the customers on this subject. and i quote the 70%. i have seen surveys where it is 80% or higher. the major issues for customers have been, i ordered something on ebay or amazon and i want it delivered this weekend or can i get my medicine in the mail? packages of all sizes will still be delivered. what we'll move away from is the delivery of first class mail, period calls and catalogs. >> "washington post". are you essentially betting that congress will not move to stop this before march 27? and once the c.r. expires, you will have freedom to do what you want.
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but the next part of that is, what makes you think congress won't re-impose a ban on five- day delivery since all of the arguments you have raised today you have raised repeatedly and your predecessor and congress has said let's look at this in two years in the senate. and the house hasn't shown any inclination to move to five-day delivery. if you get to march 27, are you confident that congress will not act to re-impose if the ban on five-day delivery? >> i can't speak for congress. what i would say and repeat what i said before. it's my job to lay out a good argument, a commonsense approach on why we should make this move. and the finances dictate it. as i said before, if we had the same volume mail we mad many years ago before people paid bills online, we wouldn't worry about this. we wouldn't about the prepayment of retiree health benefits. you think about the effect internet has had on everyone in this room, in terms of the news organizations, newspapers, television, we have the same effects. and we cannot put our head in the sand and say, gee, hope this problem will go away. hope is not a strategy. >> it hasn't been accepted repeatedly. >> i can't speak for congress.
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but i think again my job is to be able to lay the facts out so people understand what the reality is that we're facing. the good thing about what we're doing here i think and i think congress will appreciate that and i know the american people will is that packages will continue to get delivered on saturday and that's what people said they want. >> we usually hear that the private sector works best. >> of the private sector has some great companies. we partner with them. we do, from a postal service perspective, a good job of providing universal service that everyone is looking for. it is hard for the private sector to do those kind of things. part of the argument we have heard for years is maintaining delivery in the rural areas. that is expensive. we can balance the cost and that is the strength that you get with the postal service. another thing you get is a level of trust or a level of privacy. i think it will keep the mail
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delivery and package delivery and the postal service. >> already starting to see e- mail from congress saying they are supportive of the plan to move to five days. have you briefed those committees yet? what was the reaction when you briefed them? people kind of fall behind them. can you give us a bit of those reactions? >> we have spoken to the oversight leadership and the house and the senate. i know you will see some reactions as you have seen today. we want to work with congress and make sure that we work with the administration. people do a tremendous job for this american public and american business and we want to be able to provide that same
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level of reliable service going into the future. i expect that to happen. >> this will save $2 billion of a $20 billion budget gap. where do the others come from? >> the largest expenditure that we have, it is for the employee health benefits. and we have the number of others that we are working through right now out in terms of some of the network changes we are making. we also have other small changes we are discussing with congress and the union's right out around health care. the interesting thing to look at is that time is money. while you delay a change, these numbers add up. by the time you get to 17 and 18, that gap continues to go down. health care, funding, a wheel like to own our own health care plans. we think it would be at our best interests and our employees best interest between the pre funding and the expense we pay of $7 billion a year. >> i am wondering what specific additional legislation like to see congress passed and if this announcements help or hurt the effort. >> we have to resolve the health
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benefits system. we are not asking for relief. part of that is to resolve health-care costs from the postal service. we need legislation that addresses those two. we also the legislation that pays money into the retirement system. we are overpaid. it will apply to get that money back. other things from a congressional standpoint, we need some flexibility and some smaller changes going forward. there is a pocket of things that only congress can change. they are in the five-year plan. >> sorry if i am missing something, but are you saying that you're doing this that you would otherwise not have the ability to? >> again, it is our opinion and the fact of where it is that right now, this is not like we got you. it is our interpretation and the fact that paying for services already rendered, we can move ahead. there may be people that disagree and that is okay. we have six or seven weeks to get it right, let's move ahead with six days of packages and five days of mail. i spoke last night and they know what is going don. i spend a lot of time outside of this building and i speak to a letter carriers. they tell me to get to five days. preserve package delivery. we don't have enough mail to sustain here. 3:00 in the afternoon, the place was a swarm of people. 6:00 at 7:00 at night, we don't even have the lights turned on in some of these places. people have voted to pay bills electronically. it is what it is. we have to make those changes. they want to preserve this organization. you have to make tough decisions and make them quickly. >> i was wondering about the 22,500 positions you mentioned. are those full-time equivalents? >> when we talk work hours, it includes overtime.
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if you convert it to people, a substantial portion is already working on overtime and those go away. what we have tried to do is anticipate what you see behind me on that downward spiral. we have been very conservative that we don't get ourselves in a position where you're giving people pink slips. we have done it without layoffs, the right way. >> are you talking to other unions? >> we have saturday jobs that we have for letter carriers and some rural carriers. we have mail handlers that work in the evening and supervision jobs. those of the jobs that will be affected. >> what is the prospect for litigation on this?
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aren't you expecting a challenge from the unions? >> i expect we get a challenge. again, this is america. we can work it out. it is our intention that we would be able to work with congress and move on to get the next cleared up. it is the right thing to do. >> speaking about liquidity, what is cash on hand right now? will you have to make adjustments for operational adjustments? >> we are going to have a teller caught on friday. we are in better shape than october because we came out of the busiest mailing season of the year. we are consolidating 100 mail processing facilities. we had 22,500 members, whether there are clerks or maintenance people taking retirement and believed. we will continue to move in. they know that we have to make these changes. >> you mentioned you have flexibility with part-time employees? >> the way that the craft is structured today, we have full time people and flexible non- career. they don't have retirement benefits or anything like that. what that group is made up of his young people. that is why we have been focused on attrition. they have cash flow and conduct their lives, which is good. i would rather not shrink the hours. we will continue over time going forward. i would like to keep every part- time worker on the role. >> what is attrition typically? >> somewhere between 27,000 and 30,000. depending on what happens this summer, we will have upwards of 42,000. it sounds like we are wrapped
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up. sorry, one last question. >> in terms of the legality with the c.r., do you have an opinion that is legal and would you make that public? >> i will have to ask my lawyers if i can make that public.
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they tell me to get to five days. preserve package delivery. we don't have enough mail to sustain here. 3:00 in the afternoon, the place was a swarm of people. 6:00 at 7:00 at night, we don't even have the lights turned on in some of these places. people have voted to pay bills electronically. it is what it is. we have to make those changes. they want to preserve this organization. you have to make tough decisions
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and make them quickly. >> i was wondering about the 22,500 positions you mentioned. are those full-time equivalents? >> when we talk work hours, it includes overtime. if you convert it to people, a substantial portion is already working on overtime and those go away. what we have tried to do is anticipate what you see behind me on that downward spiral. we have been very conservative that we don't get ourselves in a position where you're giving people pink slips. we have done it without layoffs, the right way. >> are you talking to other unions? >> we have saturday jobs that we have for letter carriers and some rural carriers. we have mail handlers that work in the evening and supervision jobs. those of the jobs that will be
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affected. >> what is the prospect for litigation on this? aren't you expecting a challenge from the unions? >> i expect we get a challenge. again, this is america. we can work it out. it is our intention that we would be able to work with congress and move on to get the next cleared up. it is the right thing to do. >> speaking about liquidity, what is cash on hand right now? will you have to make adjustments for operational adjustments? >> we are going to have a teller caught on friday. we are in better shape than october because we came out of the busiest mailing season of the year. we are consolidating 100 mail processing facilities. we had 22,500 members, whether
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there are clerks or maintenance people taking retirement and believed. we will continue to move in. they know that we have to make these changes. >> you mentioned you have flexibility with part-time employees? >> the way that the craft is structured today, we have full time people and flexible non- career. retirementhave benefits or anything like that. what that group is made up of his young people. that is why we have been focused on attrition. they have cash flow and conduct their lives, which is good. i would rather not shrink the
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hours. we will continue over time going forward. i would like to keep every part-time worker on the role. >> what is attrition typically? >> somewhere between 27,000 and 30,000. depending on what happens this summer, we will have upwards of 42,000. it sounds like we are wrapped up. sorry, one last question. >> in terms of the legality with the c.r., do you have an opinion that is legal and would you make that public? >> i will have to ask my lawyers if i can make that public. thank you for coming out today.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> president obama met tuesday to discuss an immigration plan.
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deepak bhargava, then jeff flake. later, a discussion of posttraumatic stress disorder. "washington journal" takes your calls, e-mails, and tweets every morning. >> at 12:00 eastern, vice president joe biden. live coverage of the senate on c-span2. >> if you go to most american
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history textbooks, i would make you a bit if you go back to the books from high school, if you go to the index, you will find no mention of eugenics. my further bet with you is if you go to your biology books and high school, you would find no mention of the word eugenics. i just looked at the biology book and signed by most of the courses here, introduction to biology courses, a great text books, but i did not see any mention of eugenics. it is as if we, scientists, do not believe in eugenics, so we do not have to think about it anymore. it is as if historians can pretend it was not part of american culture. >> part of lectures on history,
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saturday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span3. >> president obama wednesday nominated the interior secretary. she would am -- replace the former, who plans to resign in march. she would be the first woman nominated for a cabinet position in the president's second term. >> please have a seat. everybody is so formal. well, good afternoon, everybody. the department of the interior is actually the department of america. other members of my cabinet may
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not entirely agree with that statement but you can see where he's coming from. secretary of the interior is in charge of overseeing 500 million acres of public land, including places like yellowstone and the grand canyon and protecting our natural heritage for our children and our grandchildren and their children to come. but the job also requires keeping an eye on america's future and making smart decisions about how we create jobs and help businesses grow and put ourselves on a path towards energy independence and that's not always an easy balancing act. but with enthusiasm and skill
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and dedication, that's exactly what ken salazar's done for the last four years. we were just reminiscing a little bit. i've known ken since we were both running for the senate together and became the only two incoming democrats in our senate class. pete remembers this. it was a lonely time. we actually lived in the same building when we first arrived in washington. and, ken, you'll recall, it was a little discouraging because basically everybody else that lived there was 20 or 25. so we were the two geriatrics in this building. but i came to appreciate quickly, not just him.
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not only did i come to appreciate his jump shot -- he's surprisingly quick on the court -- but also his patriotism and his belief that we have a responsibility to care for the land with which we've been blessed. it's not surprising that ken feels this way. his ancestors were living here before the mayflower set sail. as he explains it and relevant as we are working to get immigration reform passed. his family did not cross the border. the border crossed them. and that's why when i needed someone to lead the interior i didn't need to look far.
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since then ken has cracked down on waste. he's improved the management of the department to make it work better for the american people. he's ushered in a new era of conservation for our land, our water and our wildlife. he's established seven new national parks, 10 new national wildlife refuges. he's opened more public land and water for safe and responsible energy production -- not just gas and oil but wind and solar -- creating thousands of new jobs and nearly doubling our use of renewable energy in this country. he's helped to forge what's probably the strongest working relationship with tribal leaders that the federal government has seen in modern times. and when the unexpected has happened, like the gulf oil spill or hurricane sandy, he's been on the ground making sure that people get help right away and we deal with these challenges as professionally as possible. so i really like ken salazar, if you haven't gotten the point. [laughter] ken is now ready to head back to colorado and spend more time with hope and his family and so in addition to just saying thank you, ken, for the extraordinary work that you've done, ken is also going to have the opportunity to introduce his successor. and i am extraordinarily proud today to nominate another strong and capable leader to take the reins at interior and that is ms. sally jewell. in high school sally's aptitude
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test showed she had a knack for mechanical reasonable and spatial -- we check. we do thorough vetting before nominations. of course her recommended professions after she took these professions were to be a nurse or a teacher. just like all the other girls in her class. an it wasn't until she was undergraduate at the university of washington she realized her boyfriend's home work was more interesting than hers and she decided to become an engineer. sally went on to work in the oil fields of oklahoma and california. later she brought her experience
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in the energy sector in banking where she spent 19 years determining what companies succeed and fail. and most recently as the c.e.o. of r.e.i., a position she's held for the last eight years. sally has helped turn a stalling outdoor retailer into one of america's most successful and environmentally conscious companies. last year r.e.i. donated almost $4 million to protect trails and parks, and 20% of electricity used in their stores comes from renewable sources. even as sally spent the majority of her career outside of washington, where i might add the majority of our interior is located, she is an expert on the energy and climate issues that are going to shape our future. she's committed to building our nation-to-nation relationship with indian country. she knows the link between conservation and good jobs. she knows that there's no contradiction between being good stewards of the land and our economic progress. that in fact those two things need to go hand in hand. she's shown a company with more than $1 billion in sales can do the right thing for our planet. sally's broad expertise and set of values i know are going to serve her well as she takes on these new challenges.
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she's got a wonderful and supportive family who i understand enjoy the great outdoors just like she does. so they got a vested interest in making sure that the department of the interior is doing the right thing. when sally's confirmed, i'm willing to bet that she will be the first secretary of the interior who frequently hikes mailbox peak in her native washington state and who once spent a month climbing mountains in antarctica which i don't think of something i would do because it seems like it would be cold and i was born in hawaii. \[laughter] -- [laughter] so for sally the toughest part of this job will probably be sitting behind a desk. i suspect she'll want to get out of the office quite a bit. but, again, i want to thank ken salazar and the entire salazar family for their extraordinary service, their extraordinary friendship.
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the department of the interior is stronger. this country is stronger. our natural resources are in a better place because of his extraordinary service. i could not be more thrilled with the work that sally, i know, is going to do in following that path that ken has carved. i expect the senate to confirm her as quickly as possible. and with that i'd like to invite both of them to say a few words, starting with my dear friend, ken salazar. [applause] >> thank you, mr. president. is it the same one i have? >> no, that's sally's. just didn't want to get them mixed up. [laughter]
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>> let me just first of all say to president obama that i am humbled and honored beyond imagination to have been a part of the president obama dream team for the united states of america. his presidency is historic. his team in the white house is historic and the team at the department of interior are historic. and for that i will ever be eternally grateful to you, my wonderful friend, mr. president. >> thank you. [applause] >> so with your leadership and support and this wonderful team that we have here, we have in fact changed the way that the department of interior does business. we have seized the opportunity together with our other closing on the cabinet and under the
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president's leadership and your stellar staff here at the white house to put the nation on a path towards energy independence. today, the largest solar projects in the history of the world are coming up out of the deserts of the public lands of the united states and our foreign oil imports are at the lowest that they have been since 1995. i'm proud, mr. president, of you and your team. because of your leadership on conservation for america. from your support and the signing of the historic 2009 public lands act to the launch of america's great outdoors. together we have ushered in a 21st century conservation agenda and preserve the crown jewels of our nation. from the crown of the continent in montana to the florida everglades to the statue of liberty. i'm proud of our historic work and perhaps more proud of this than almost anything else for the nation's first americans. from resolving the longstanding conflicts like cobell, to delivering clean drinking water to the navajo nation, you've given credibility, mr. president, to the proposition
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that the nation's first americans, too, will share in the american dream. mr. president, my parents pushed their eight children to become first generation college graduates and taught us that anything was possible in this nation of ours. as your secretary of interior, you have given to me the opportunity to prove them right and to achieve that american dream, and for that, hope, my entire family will be eternally grateful to you. today, mr. president, i'm also proud to stand with you here as you announce your selection of an outstanding person to be your nominee for secretary of interior. sally jewell knows firsthand the inextricable link between conservation and the economy. sally was a key contributor to you and to your entire team in the creation of the america's great outdoors agenda. she's been a champion of land and water conservation fund and
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so many other conservation issues of our time. i also know that her successful business record and experience as an oil and gas engineer will serve her well as she implements your all-of the above energy agenda, which has been such a keystone to you over the last four years, and i'm sure you will have more to say about that very soon. so mr. president, i believe as you have done with all the decisions that you have made since i have been working with you on your team, this is a stellar decision and you've chosen somebody who will be a stellar, outstanding secretary of the interior, sally jewell. [applause]
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>> well, thank you, mr. president, for your kind words and for the confidence you're placing in me with this nomination. i have a great job at r.e.i. today, but there's no role that compares than the call to serve our country as secretary of the department of interior. i'm humbled and i'm energized by this opportunity and i look forward to getting to know members of the senate as they consider my nomination in the coming weeks. thank you, secretary salazar, for the opportunities you've given to people across this country, to engage with the department of interior, sharing their hopes and their dreams for our public lands, our resources, our people, especially our first people, our history and our culture. i look forward to working with the dedicated employees at interior who work so hard to care for our land and our resources every day.
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i'm going to do my best to fill those big boots of yours, but i think i might get lost in your hat. [laughter] thank you, warren, my husband of nearly 35 years. my two children, peter and ann, for their love and their support on this career journey. i'm excited to take this new challenge. thank you so much. [applause] >> on c-span, leon panetta talks about sequestration in the military. after that, republican members of the armed services committee to avoid sequestration. then, house speaker john boehner response to the president's
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proposal of automated spending cuts. president obama met with organizations tuesday to discuss his immigration plan. an inside look at the meeting and the immigration debate with deepak bhargava. then jeff flake. later, the government's treatment of soldiers with post- traumatic stress disorder. "washington journal" takes your calls, e-mails, and tweets every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> thursday, president obama and a number of congressional leaders attended the fellowship foundation's national prayer breakfast. this dates back to 1953 with
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president eisenhower. live at 8:00 a.m. eastern on c- span2. >> there is no prescription or role model or cookbook for being first lady. if you look back at the lives of martha washington or abigail adams or dolly madison or edith wilson or eleanor roosevelt, or the truman, or eisenhower, you can see each woman has defined the role in a way that is true to herself. how she can help her husband take care of her family, make her contribution to our nation. >> c-span's new, original series, first lady, interest and experience. in over 44 administrations. season one begins presidents' day, february, at 9:00 p.m.
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eastern. >> outgoing defense secretary leon panetta talks about sequestration. the defense department priorities and the threat of cyber attacks. he spoke with students wednesday. this is one hour and 10 minutes. [applause] >> thank you very much, bobby. i really appreciate that very kind introduction and i want to thank you for the invitation to be here and to hopefully give you one of my last speeches as secretary of defense. and have a chance to be able to share some thoughts with all of you about the challenges that we're confronting today,
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challenges related to security but more importantly the challenges related to leadership. it's appropriate i do this at georgetown. as the product of jesuit education, as a catholic and as a beneficiary over the years of your outstanding faculty and staff and your important policy contributions that this university has made in a number of areas that affect people of this country, i'm truly honored to have this opportunity today. i've had a deep and abiding respect for georgetown throughout the almost 40 to 50 years that i've been involved in public service.
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and i have a deep respect for the generation of leaders that have gone forward from this campus to serve our nation. i just had the opportunity to meet with your cadets. some of the cadets in the rotc program. as someone who went through the rotc program at santa clara university and then ultimately served two years in the army, i can tell you that i have tremendous admiration for those that have made the decision to serve this country in uniform. the talents of these men and women and the innovative programs at georgetown's new institute of women, peace and security underscore for me the university's leadership in the study of global security.
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all of this counts in terms of helping our country being more secure. throughout my career i've had the opportunity to work close low, obviously, with a number of the -- closely, obviously, with a number of the university's distinguished alumni. in particular president clinton, and he and i during the time i was both o.m.b. director and then as his chief of staff, would spend many hours of conversation talking about his experience as a southern baptist getting a catholic education. he talked about it a lot. and also during my time, obviously, in the obama administration i greatly benefited from many of the georgetown graduates. i had the honor to have someone as my chief of staff, jeremy
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bash, who graduated here from georgetown, serve as my chief of staff at the c.i.a. and then followed me to the pentagon as my chief of staff. and also someone who's had a public affairs at the pentagon, george little, who is also someone who both graduated and later taught here at georgetown. talented young individuals who have been at my side every day for the last four years at both the c.i.a. and the pentagon, and i am deeply grateful for their work for me and on behalf of the nation and i am deeply grateful for georgetown for training such extraordinary public servants. and speaking of extraordinary public servants, i think many in this audience know that there's a georgetown professor that the
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president has nominated to serve as the next secretary of defense, chuck hagel, and i am confident and i've expressed that confidence publicly that the men and women of the department of defense will have the kind of advocate they need as the nation emerges from more than a decade of war. lastly, i'm honored to be here, as i said, as a catholic and as a proud graduate of another jesuit institution, santa clara university. my time in the university's undergraduate and law school, in many ways shaped the rest of my life as this education will shape the rest of your lives. i remain deeply thankful to the jesuits for the outstanding
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education that i received. having gone through seven years of philosophy and syllogisms and theology and cannon law, i have been blessed by all the grace and skepticism that jesuits can give. more importantly, i've been shaped by what i believe is their pragmatic approach to life and to faith and to the issues in general. it was that education and my catholic upbringing, particularly as the son of italian immigrants, that instilled in me the very core principles and values that i carry with me till this day. my faith, my belief in hard work, my belief that you have to give something back to this country.
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that's what a democracy is all about. my belief in knowing the difference between right and wrong. i can't tell you how important that education was, to giving me that sense of conscience that is so importance, particularly in public service. i can remember working for senator keekle and going there first time as legislative assistant and meeting with the united states senator which was a pretty awesome experience and he said to us at that time. there were two legislative assistants at that time. one covering domestic affairs and one covering foreign affairs. these days they have 20, 30 assistants that cover all kinds of things.
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but there were just two of us. and the senator said, i want you to know that you will be subject to temptation in your job. there will be people trying to get to me through you. but our purpose here is to serve the american people. and i want you to remember one thing. in the morning you have to get up and you have to look at yourself in the mirror. i have never forgot that because in the end it is about integrity, being honest with yourself and being honest with others. and it also helped develop my belief that you have to be willing to fight for what you believe in. more than half a century ago a young catholic president said,
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ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. and when he said that, and i heard him say that, he inspired me to follow those values and to commit my life to public service. and now some 50 years after graduating from santa clara, entering the united states army as a young lieutenant, this chapter of my career in government is coming to a close and it's time for me to return to california, my home in california in monterey. to my wife, sylvia, three sons, six grandchildren, and to the panetta institute for public policy which is an institute that my wife and i established whose mission is to try to
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prepare the next generation for a life in public service. we were concerned when we returned after my stint in the first four years of the clinton administration going back to california, my sense was that the students that i saw, the students that i was talking to and taught, my sense was that they didn't really appreciate the importance of public service. and that they were looking at other areas to be able to explore in their career and it was for that reason that sylvia and i thought it was really important to do something to try to let young people know how important it is. to give something back to this country. it is that generation, your generation to i'd like to try to address in my remarks today.
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as i leave government, i really believe that we are at a critical crossroads in the life of this nation. we're emerging from a deep economic recession. we're emerging from major wars that occurred in the post-9/11 era, and the hope is we can bring those wars to an end. we are facing as a nation new opportunities and new possibilities. i really believe that in many ways we have an opportunity to enter a whole new renaissance in the united states, to develop an economy that is creative, that is innovative, that can grow strong in the 21st century. a country that can provide world leadership, can provide the kind
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of security, partnership in which we can work with other countries to develop their capabilities, to form new alliances, to form new partnerships with countries across the world so that we can build a family of nations, that can help provide security in a difficult world. but at the same time that we have those opportunities, we face some very real challenges. grappling with a record debt and deficit, threat of global warming, threat of global poverty, of pandemics, of national security challenges like continuing war on terrorism, the instability of iran and north korea, rising
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powers, turmoil across the middle east, turmoil in north africa, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the growing threat of cyberattacks. how we confront these problems, how we deal with these challenges will in many ways determine that future course of america. it will determine whether the united states will be a leader in the 21st century or whether we will be just another failed empire in history. to succeed we will depend on the resilience of our economy, the strength of our diplomatic and military institutions and above all, the effectiveness of our political system that underpins
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in many ways what we do as a country. and that brings me to what i see as perhaps the most urgent task facing this nation and facing all of us and that is overcoming the partisan dysfunction in congress that poses a threat to our quality of life, to our national security, to our economy, to our ability to address the problems that confront this country. when i think of the current political environment, i cannot help but share a story that another jesuit educated member of congress and a fellow italian
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that i had the honor to serve with, a guy named silvio conte from massachusetts, told during the time we were involved in budget negotiations, this was during the reagan administration. republicans, democrats came together with the leadership of reagan administration. we sat in a room in the capitol working day in, day out. everything was on the table. we had defense on the table. we had discretionary on the table. we had entitlements on the table and we had revenues on the table. everything. and we were working through it trying to develop a package. leadership made very clear that we had to get this done. every time we thought we were close, somebody would stand up, walk out of the room, didn't like what was happening and, you
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know, it got tough. and at one meeting where somebody just got up, we thought we were close to getting a deal. it was a senator from florida that got up and said, i can't support this, and he stormed out of the room. silvio said, you know, this reminds me of the story of the three missionaries. the french, the british and the italian missionaries who were in a very remote part of the world and they were going down this very remote wilderness river in their canoe and the canoe suddenly tipped over and they managed to make it to shore only to fall into the hands of a cannibal tribe. and the chief of the tribe looked at them and said, look, you got a choice here. you can either jump in this pot
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of boiling water or you can take your own lives. either way we're going to use your skins for our canoes. french missionary on hearing that pulled out his little knife, cut his wrists and said, viva la france. the british missionary took out his knife, plunged it into his chest and said, god save the king. the italian took out his stiletto and started punching himself in the stomach and chest area, and the chief said, what the hell are you doing? the italian said, i'm trying to screw up your canoe. [laughter] only an italian is supposed to tell that story. [laughter] but these days, the fact is there are a lot of people trying to screw up the canoe.
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i used to say to the students at the panetta institute -- and i still say it when i get a chance, and i say it to you, that we govern in our democracy either through leadership or through crisis. if leadership is there and there are those that are elected who are willing to take the risks associated with leadership, to make the tough decisions that have to be made, and hopefully crisis can be avoided, but if leadership is not there, if it's absent, for whatever reason, then make no mistake about it, crisis drives policy in this country. today crisis drives policy.
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it has become too politically convenient to simple low allow a crisis to develop and get worse and then react to the crisis. i understand. look. somebody who was in politics as a representative for 16 years, i understand the mentality. why do i have to make tough decisions that anger my constituents, raise their taxes, cut their entitlements, why do i have to do those decisions when i can simply stand back and allow crisis to occur? and then in the midst of crisis, terrible crisis, then i can look at my constituents and say, i had a hell of a crisis i had to deal with so that's why i had to make these decisions.
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it's the easy way out. and i understand that it's one way to govern -- by crisis. but make no mistake about it, there is a price to be paid. and the price to be paid is that you lose the trust of the american people. you create an aura of constant uncertainty that pervades every issue and gradually undermines the very credibility of this nation to be able to govern itself. my greatest concern today is that we are putting our national security at risk by lurching from budget crisis to budget crisis to budget crisis.
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when i was nominated to be the 23rd secretary of defense, based on my own experience dealing with budget issues, as chairman of the house budget committee, i was director of the office of management and budget, i knew very well that the department of defense had a responsibility to be able to do its part in dealing with the fiscal crisis in this country. every budget summit that i had been a part of in the reagan years, first bush years, during the clinton administration, every budget summit we knew that defense had to play a role in trying to be able to control our deficits. soon after i became secretary, i was handed a number of $487
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billion, almost half a trillion dollars that i was to cut out of the defense budget. it was contained in the budget control act, and i was required to be able to get that number of savings over the next 10 years. after a decade of blank check spending in the department of defense, it was important for us, the leaders of the department, chairman of the joint chiefs, the service chiefs, the service secretaries and myself who strongly believe that we had to meet this challenge of reducing the defense budget but we had to do it in a way that simply would not hallow out the force. we came out of every other period, every other war, we made the terrible mistake of hallowing out the force coming
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out of world war ii, coming out of korea, coming out of vietnam, coming out of the cold war. the attitude was, just cut the hell out of defense, so it was cut across the board and it hallowed out the force, made us weaker so we said we cannot repeat that mistake. the best way to do that is to then establish a strategy. what is the defense strategy we
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>> we do everything possible to develop the technical capabilities to operate effectively in cyberspace. over the past two years, we have invested a great year and -- deal and we will invest more in cyber. to do that, we will need legislation. we have asked for legislation from the congress. try to give us the tools we need, the legal tools, so that we can develop a partnership with the private sector.
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to be able to confront these challenges. i hope that congress will take that step. that's an important step to trying to be able to defend this country from those nations that would use a cyberattack to weaken us. with the defense strategy that we establish put in place, our hope is that we can deal with the wide range of threats and do it in a way that meets our fiscal responsibilities. i don't think you have to choose between protecting our national security and protecting our fiscal security as well. but this strategy and our ability to effectively confront the security challenges that i talked about is at a very serious risk. not because of our capabilities, not because of what we can do, not because of the strength of the united states. we are the strongest military power in the world. it's not serious. that's not what creates a serious risk. what creates a serious risk today is the pervasive budget uncertainty that threatens our security and threatens our economic future. since the budget control act was passed in august, 2011, the department of defense, other agencies in the government have
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been living under this serious cloud, this shadow, the shadow of sequestration, this legislative madness that was designed to be so bad, so bad that no one in their right mind would let it happen. for those of you whoever's seen "blazing saddles" it's the scene of the sheriff putting the gun to his head in order to try to establish law and order. that's sequestration. for more than a year and a half, the joint chiefs of staff and i have been extremely vocal about our deep concerns about
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taking another half trillion dollars out of the defense budget in an across-the-board fashion that hits every area and that guarantees we hallow out the military. across-the-board cuts that would deeply damage our national security. today, we approach another trigger for sequestration. march 1. and the department of defense is again facing what i believe
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and what the service chiefs believe and what the chairman of the joint chiefs of staffs believes is the most serious readiness crisis that this country has endured in nearly a decade. the president and members of congress shares our concerns. there isn't anybody that i've talked to on capitol hill that doesn't think this isn't crazy. -- is crazy. this is a dangerous tool to impact the country. the president, as you know, has been pushing hard to try to get a big deal established that would control the deficit problem. he's proposed a comprehensive plan. if you do a comprehensive plan, if congress does a comprehensive plan, it would that was the whole point of establishing sequester. let me also remind you -- i talk about security.
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let me also remind you that sequester does serious damage to the nondefense side of the budget as well. it's not just defense. it's education, loss of teachers. it's childcare. i think the estimate is that some 100,000 children will be kicked out of head start. it's about health care. 700,000 women and children will no longer receive nutrition assistance. it's about food safety. it's about law enforcement. it's about airport safety. it's about a number of other programs that support our quality of life in this country, and our quality of life is important to our national security. all of this would be the consequence of an arbitrary legislative mechanism so onerous, so onerous that it was designed not to take effect but
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to force the right kind of action. the president yesterday issued a stark warning about the consequence of sequester, of these deep and indiscriminant cuts and urged congress to at least pass a smaller package of savings and tax reform that could delay sequester. i strongly support those efforts. we cannot allow this to happen, but it is difficult to believe, frankly, that congress would simply stand aside, stand aside, fail to make the decisions necessary to resolve this crisis and allow the defense, economy and quality of life of america to be irreparably damaged. but time and time again they've postponed action and instead
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have fallen into a pattern of constant partisanship and gridlock and recrimination. and not only have they failed to come together around a big plan to reduce the deficit, they' also failed in their basic responsibility -- they've also failed in their basic responsibility to pass appropriations bills, how we fund the government each year. we're operating on a c.r. today, continuing resolution on appropriations, because they failed to pass appropriations bills. you know when the last time is that the congress passed all of the appropriations bills in time? 1994. 1994. that is a basic responsibility, to be able to fund the government. my fear, my fear, is that there
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is a dangerous and callous attitude developing among some republicans and some democrats that these dangerous cuts can be allowed to take place in order to blame the other party for the consequences. this is a kind of "so what" attitude that says, let's see how bad it can get in order to have the other party blink. before. it was the same attitude that led to a government shutdown in 1995. the same attitude. let it happen.
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the other side will blink. even if it will hurt people, our citizens, our security. this is a good way to make the other side blink. and when they did it in 1995, it badly hurt the american people and created a political backlash that damaged those who were blamed for the crisis. same damn thing will happen again if they allow this to occur. those that do not learn the history lessons are bound to repeat the mistakes that were made. we are about to see that happen again. if congress does not act, and the department is forced to
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operate, as we will be, under a year-long sequestration, and a year-long continuing resolution, let me tell you what will happen. we will have to abruptly absorb in a period of about six months, remember we are in the fiscal year starting october 1. we have seven months left in the fiscal year. if the sequester goes into effect, we will have to absorb those cuts in the latter part of the year. $46 billion in sequester reduction. and we will have to face a $35 billion shortfall in operating funds for our active forces. that is a reality. that is a reality. make no mistake, if these cuts happen, there will be a serious disruption in defense programs and a sharp decline in our military readiness.
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we have already begun an all-out effort to plan for how to operate under such a scenario. but it is also very clear there are no good options. each military service is moving ahead with their actions. we have got to reduce the spend rate we are in now. we assume, silly us, that we would get a 2013 appropriation, what we requested. we are operating on this hope that 2013 appropriations bill will be passed. it has not been passed. if we are spending at this rate and we suddenly have to hit reductions and take those deductions where? we have got to protect the war
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fighters in afghanistan, our fourth predestines in the middle east, and there is only one place that comes out of. readiness. that is what will happen. we have already implemented and try to slow down the spend rate. we have implemented a hiring freezes. we are laying off temporary employees. we are looking at putting 46,000 jobs at risk. but we are also being forced to consummate courage to contemplate what will happen if the sequestered goes into affect. that is happening based on what the fear is if it goes into place. we will furlough as many as 800,000 dod civilians around the country for up to 22 days. they could face a 22% cut in their salary.
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you do not think that will impact our economy, jobs, and our ability to recover from the recession? we will cut back on army training and maintenance, putting about two-thirds of our active brigade combat teams outside afghanistan and reduced readiness level. we have got to cut back on their training. we will have to cut back on the ability to support the troops who are not in the war zone. we put more stress on those who are in the war zone. we will have to shrink our global operations, with a reduction as much as one-third in our western pacific naval operations. this whole idea about trying to rebalance will be impacted.
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we will cut the air force flying hours and weapons systems maintenance, putting flying unions below acceptable readiness standards by the end of the fiscal year. this is not a game. this is reality. these steps would seriously damage a fragile american economy and they would degrade our ability to respond to crises precisely at a time of rising instability across the globe. north africa. from syria to north korea. we would have no choice but to implement these kinds of measures if congress fails to carry out its basic responsibility to the american people. this is no way to govern the united states of america. this budgetary crisis creates uncertainty.
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it creates doubt. most importantly from my point of view, it undermines the men and women in uniform who are willing to put their lives on the line in order to protect this country. it puts at risk our fundamental mission of protecting the american people. worst of all, as i said, it is a self-made crisis. a basic fact of life is that the department of defense cannot do its job without the partnership of the congress. we cannot do it without republicans and democrats who are willing to work with us to protect our national security. in a world of responsible politics, members of congress elected by the american people should never take a step that would badly damage our national defense and undermine our support for our men and women in
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uniform. and yet, today, we are on the brink of seeing that happen. even if congress acts again, temporarily, to prevent the effects of this crisis, and, hopefully, they will do that, but i have to tell you, if they only kick the can down the road, it continues a long shadow of doubt about whether the fundamental problems we face can really be resolved. that is a high price, a very high price that could be paid as a result of governing by crisis. as i said, the ultimate result of that is to lose trust of the american people. this is not just a bad joke. this is not just a bad joke.
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it is not a bad joke that congress now has the lowest ratings it has had in recent history. so, what i would like to urge is that the leaders of congress do what is right for this country. i know the political system is now immersed in sound bites, money, and they are trying to raise money for elections. i looked at one example, a recent article, where a campaign group was talking to members of congress. they suggested that for a typical member, four to five hours of their day should be spent calling prospective donors. with only three to four spent conducting business with people.
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with so little time, it is no wonder why they do not get to know each other and trust each other and do not work together. i have spent most of my life in washington. i am not naive about the messy realities of governing in our democracy. i have been there. it has become somewhat of a cliche for members of congress like myself to hearken back to the good old days where there was bipartisan and consensus. make no mistake. governing has never been easy. from the budget battles of the reagan administration to the government shut down, i have witnessed gridlock. they are the enduring features of a political system. they can also be a crutch for leaders to use to avoid their responsibilities.
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i am proud to say that during the time i served in congress, i did witness a lot of what congress did at its best. despite the partisan differences, there was a bipartisan group of leaders in the congress, tip o'neill, bob michael, howard baker, bob dole, george mitchell, and so many others, who worked at that time with the republican administration to enact bold, budget compromises. we sat together in budget meetings, put everything at the table, and we ultimately found compromise. it is that spirit of leadership and cooperation that ultimately led to a balanced budget and a surplus. ultimately, we all have a responsibility to hold our elected leaders accountable and to fight for the kind of country that we want to have. we must never forget that our
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democracy has survived because it was born in the principle of public service. the preamble of the constitution says, "we the people of the united states, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the united states of america." i have always remembered i had the opportunity to live the american dream. the son of italian immigrants, with the ability, like millions of others, to have the opportunity to be able to succeed at what you want to do.
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we have parents like millions of others who came to this country, no skills, no education, no money in their pockets, but the hope to capture that american dream. i asked my father why he did it. why would you travel all those miles to come to a strange nation? he believed my mother and he could give their children a better life. i think that is the american dream. continues to be the fundamental bond that we all share as americans. we will make whatever sacrifices necessary to give our children a better life, a quality education, and a more secure future. if there is one thing i have learned in life, it is that this future is not guaranteed. you have got to work for it and
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you have got to fight for it. i will end with a story i have told many times because it makes the right point. the rabbi and a priest decided they would get to know each other a little better. one evening, they went to a boxing match. they thought if they went to the events together, talk to each other, they would learn about each other's religion. at the boxing match, just before the bell rang, one of the boxes made the sign of the cross. the rabbi nudged the priest and asked what that meant. the priest says, it does not mean a damn thing if he cannot fight. [laughter] we bless ourselves with the hope that everything will be ok in this country. it does not mean a damn thing unless you are willing to fight for it. my message to you is that it does not mean a damn thing if you are not willing to fight for the american dream, a dream my
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parents had, a dream of giving our children a better life, a dream of always maintaining a government of, by, and for people. that course of duty is now passing to a new generation. with it passes the responsibility to never stop fighting for that better future. thank you very much. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. [applause]
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i will take a few questions. go ahead. >> thank you. thank you for coming to georgetown university and talking to us. i am in the security studies program here. i am taking a class on u.s. defense budgeting. at georgetown, we do care about these issues and we share your concerns, as well. in the defense budget of 2013, i understand 19% of the budget is being represented for personnel. about 26% is for procurement. 40% is for operations.
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if you look at all the different accounts for which the budget is requested, and the sequestration cuts across the board will affect seriously to the manpower, the modernization, and the leadership of the military. i have reviewed a lot of documents of the defense budget for many years in the past. i do not see a way how we can cut the defense budget. i do not see a way how sequestration will occur and not affect these three crucial defense-related areas. now, knowing that only around 4% of the gdp is being constituted by the base defense budget, and a bulk of the gdp --
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>> we agree on your facts. what is the question? [laughter] >> right. this is a puzzle to me. my question is, this is really a puzzle. [laughter] how can you balance the budget without either cutting the defense budget or the mandatory account, medicare, medicaid? >> i got it. look, understand that the federal budget has certain parameters and if you are serious about trying to reduce the deficit, which now is at $1 trillion plus, and trying to
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reduce the national debt, there is no way you can do that without putting everything on the table. you have got to put everything on the table. obviously, as you do that, you will established some priorities. you have got to find savings. the entitlement programs right now represents almost two-thirds of the federal budget. about one-third is discretionary spending. there is no way you can move toward a balanced budget and not put all of that on the table. every budget summit i have been a part of -- the reagan administration, the bush administration, the clinton administration, putting together
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the budget -- we had to raise additional revenues, and we had to take reductions on discretionary spending. all that has to be part of the package. all of that has to be included if you want to be able to put together a budget deal that will solve this problem. but we went through this before. this is not new. republicans do not want to raise taxes. they do not want to cut defense. democrats to not want to cut entitlement spending. in order to get a deal, both have to make compromises. both have to be willing to give in order to put that large deal together. in the past, that is what happened. republicans were willing to compromise. democrats were willing to compromise. the result was we ultimately balanced the federal budget. we did what we had to do. damn it, that is what has to be done now. defense has to play its role.
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but to put the package together that you have to have in order to ultimately resolve our deficit issue, all of those areas have to be included in the deal. next question. >> good morning. i am a freshman here. my question is concerning cyber attacks. you mentioned they posed an expensive threat. do you believe cyber warfare, such as a virus, will be an important part of future u.s. foreign policy? >> cyber technology, and you are so aware of this, developments that have taken place in the cyber arena have been incredible in the last 10 years.
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i worked with a typewriter. [laughter] what i am seeing today in terms of the developments on cyber, it has been incredible. i have to say, working at the cia, the defense department, and seeing the kind of cutting edge technology that is being developed, there is no question in my mind that part and parcel, and the attack on this country in the future by any enemy is going to include a cyber element to it. but that will be part of the